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Tour News: - Posted 16th June 1998

Els back problems costs him top spot

London - Ernie Els's withdrawal from the Buick Open after nine holes of the opening round last week because of back trouble has cost him his number one spot in the world rankings.

Tiger Woods regained the leading position even though he, too, did not play at Westchester. Woods withdrew from the previous week's Kemper Open, also with a back injury.

Els won the event for the past two years and pulling out this time cost him his previous ranking points from the event.

Both are fighting to be fit for this week's U.S. Open at the Olympic Club in San Francisco.

World Ranking Top 20 - 15th June 1998 (U.S. unless stated):

1. Tiger Woods 11.64 points average

 2. Ernie Els (South Africa)11.11 

3. Davis Love10.25 

4. Greg Norman (Australia)9.49

5. Colin Montgomerie (Britain)9.18 

6. David Duval9.10

7. Justin Leonard 8.33

8. Fred Couples 7.81

9. Mark O'Meara 7.67 

 10. Phil Mickelson 7.60 

 11. Nick Price (Zimbabwe)7.46

 12. Lee Westwood (Britain) 7.40 

 13. Tom Lehman 7.00 

 14. Masashi Ozaki (Japan)6.93

 15. Jim Furyk6.36

 16. Vijay Singh (Fiji) 5.91

 17. Scott Hoch 5.78

 18. Mark Calcavecchia5.74 

 19. Tom Watson 5.70

 20. Jesper Parnevik (Sweden) 5.52