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Ernie Els closing in on World No.2 spot

World number three Ernie Els closed the gap on second-ranked Vijay Singh after cruising to a 13-shot victory at the thunderstorm-hit Asian Open in Shanghai on Monday.

South African Els, who fired a flawless seven-under-par 65 in the delayed final round at Tomson Golf Club, now trails Fijian Singh by just 1.12 points in the official world rankings.

Singh had been bidding for a second successful title defence on the PGA Tour in last week's Zurich Classic at New Orleans but fell back into a tie for 21st after closing with a level-par 72.

Tiger Woods, who has not played since regaining his status last month as the world's leading player with a fourth U.S. Masters victory, remained at number one.

Phil Mickelson, winner of last year's Masters, stayed at four and U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen at five.

In the only changes to the world's top 10, American Chris DiMarco and Ireland's Padraig Harrington traded places, DiMarco climbing to seven and Harrington dropping to eight.

DiMarco, who lost out to Woods in a playoff for the Masters title three weeks ago, carded a 72 to tie for third in New Orleans on Sunday while Harrington shared ninth place, following a 71.

American Tim Petrovic, who claimed his maiden PGA Tour victory in New Orleans by beating compatriot James Driscoll in a playoff, climbed 53 spots to a career-high 67th in the global pecking order.

Driscoll rocketed 166 places to 119th.

World ranking points are accumulated over a two-year period, with points awarded in the most recent 13-week spell doubled.

Each player is ranked according to his average points per tournament, points being weighted according to the status of the event and strength of the field.


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