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Vijay Singh extends lead at top of rankings

Vijay Singh begins second spell on top of rankings

Vijay Singh this week begins his second spell as world number one after dislodging Tiger Woods with a tie for second place at the Bay Hill Invitational in Orlando, Florida on Sunday.

The 42-year-old Fijian, who previously occupied top spot for 26 weeks after deposing Woods with victory at the Deutsche Bank Championship last September, had a chance of winning at Bay Hill but found water with his seven-iron approach at the last.

He ended up with a double-bogey six and had to settle for a share of second alongside Britain's Graeme McDowell, two strokes behind American winner Kenny Perry.

Singh, who finished runner-up for the second successive week on the PGA Tour, found little consolation in regaining his status as the game's leading player.

"Big deal. I lost the golf tournament," the U.S. PGA champion told reporters.

"I really wasn't worried about the ranking. I'm playing well, I'm hitting the ball well. So I'm looking forward to next week (the Players' Championship) and hopefully I don't screw up again."

Perry closed with a two-under-par 70 at Bay Hill to clinch the eighth PGA Tour title of his career and move up 10 spots to 11th in the world rankings.

McDowell, whose last-day 66 was the round of the tournament, vaulted 14 places to a career-high 38th.

In the only other changes to the world's top 10, Spaniard Sergio Garcia and American David Toms traded places, Garcia climbing to seven and Toms dropping to eight.

Ernie Els, who tied for 23rd with Woods at Bay Hill, remained at three, U.S. Masters champion Phil Mickelson at four and U.S. Open title-holder Retief Goosen at five.

Any of the top three players could end this week in the number one spot after the prestigious Players' Championship at Sawgrass in Florida, says world rankings organiser Ian Barker.

"It's wide open at the top and we could certainly have any one of three world numbers one after the Players," Barker, of Official World Golf Ranking, told Reuters on Monday.

"Had Vijay won on Sunday, he would have opened up a big gap in the rankings but his gap is now only 0.20 average points.

"And the Players is huge with 80 points available for the winner, which is behind only the major championships in terms of ranking points available."

Singh, Woods and Els are separated by just 0.85 points in the rankings.

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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