ENGLAND’S Lee Westwood is sitting on top of the world after ending Tiger Woods’ 281-week reign as top dog.
Westwood becomes only the third Brit to head the rankings, along with Nick Faldo and Ian Woosman, and the first European to do so since Faldo 16 years ago.
Westwood’s premier billing was under threat from his Ryder Cup colleague Martin Kaymer, who required a top-two finish at the Andalucia Masters to snatch the No1 spot.
But the USPGA champion failed to cope with testing conditions at Valderrama and fired a disappointing final round of 75 to finish 10 shots adrift of winner Graeme McDowell.
“Lee deserves it,” said Kaymer. “He’s one of the greatest guys on the European Tour.
“Of course I am disappointed. I thought if I had a fast weekend I could still play a role but I missed too many putts. I liked the challenge and I think I’ll have another chance [of being No1] in a few weeks.”
Westwood, currently out of action with a calf problem, intends to return at this week’s WGC-HSBC Champions event in Shanghai.
The 37-year-old from Nottingham, whose ranking dropped below 250 when he took a break from the sport following the birth of his first son in 2001, is still waiting to register his first Major success but has been part of five successful European Ryder Cup sides.
FAB THREE | WORLD NO1 BRITS
Lee Westwood: Total Weeks at No1: 1
Major Wins: 0 Career Earnings: £17.5m Career Titles: 32
Nick Faldo Total Weeks at No1: 97
Major Wins: 6 Career Earnings: £5.5m
Career Titles: 40
Ian Woosnam Total Weeks at No1: 50
Major Wins: 1 Career Earnings: £3.5m
Career Titles: 47