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Michael Hoey enters top 100; Tiger Woods out of top 50
October 3, 2011

Northern Ireland's Michael Hoey won the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship by two shots with a final round 68 at St Andrews, holding off the challenges of compatriots Rory McIlroy (2nd) and Graeme McDowell (T3rd), the last two US Open Champions, and setting a new scoring record for the event at 22 under par, one better than Lee Westwood's eight year old record. It was Hoey's second title of the season, after the Madeira Islands Open, and propels him into the world top 100 at 98th, up a massive 173 places, and the first ever 1-2-3 finish for a Northern Irish trio in a European Tour event.

By finishing tied for fifth at the Dunhill Links, Louis Oosthuizen ensured that Tiger Woods has fallen out of the world top 50 for the first time since the week ending October 13, 1996, when he was ranked 61st, making a total of 778 weeks in the top 50, 623 of them as world no. 1. he is now ranked 51st.

Kevin Na won the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open by two shots from Nick Watney for his first PGA Tour title in the Fall Series opening event. He climbs to world no. 62, up 14 spots.

On a tough final day at the Coca-Cola Tokai Classic, Korea’s Sang-Moon Bae picked up his second victory in the last five weeks. He started the day with a one stroke lead over Hiroyuki Fujita and Hyung-Sung Kim, and could afford to shoot a one over par final round and still take the title by the same solitary shot. Having started the year at 149 on the Official World Golf Ranking, Bae’s two victories have seen him climb 92 places so far in 2011 to 57.

Paul Casey picked up his second win of 2011 at The 27th Shinehan Donghae Open on the Korean Golf Tour. Since winning on the European Tour earlier this season in Bahrain, Casey has struggled for form, but in an event that ended up as a war of attrition he came out on top, shooting a couple of 69s over the weekend to finish level for the tournament and win by a shot. Casey started 2011 inside the top 10 in the World, and this win will be a shot in the arm for the Englishman, who now finds himself climbing back up to number 20.

In just his 19th start on the Nationwide Tour, Danny Lee picked up his first win in America after defeating fellow rookie Harris English in a playoff at the WNB Golf Classic. In a packed leader board Lee started some six shots behind the leader BJ Staten, but when he fell to a four over par 40 on the front nine, it was anyone’s tournament. It was Lee and English who eventually rose to the top and went to sudden death, and when Lee made a solid par at the first extra hole it was enough to take the title. The 2008 US Amateur champion had already won on the European Tour at the Johnnie Walker Classic in 2009, and this win should assure him of a PGA Tour card for 2012. He also jumps 76 places on the World Ranking and inside the top 200 at 190, a rise of 300 places since the end of 2010.

England’s Matthew Baldwin picked up his maiden Challenge Tour title at the Fred Olsen Challenge de España after seeing off Frenchman Julien Guerrier on the third extra hole. On the stunning island of La Gomera, Baldwin found himself trailing overnight leader Lloyd Kennedy by a solitary shot heading into the final round, but a three under 68 saw him climb to the top of the board alongside Guerrier who posted a 65. In the playoff both made pars on the first two holes, but when the Frenchman failed to get up and down from over the green at the third extra hole, Baldwin was left with two putts from 15-feet for victory. The win sees him climb to seventh on the Challenge Tour rankings with the top 20 getting their 2012 European Tour cards, while he has also risen 193 places to 283 in the World.

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