Lawrie back into World's top 50

2/6/2012 9:57:18 AM
Paul Lawrie  (Getty Images)
Paul Lawrie (Getty Images)

Paul Lawrie returned to the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking for the first time since July 2003 following his win in the Commercialbank Qatar Masters presented by Dolphin Energy.

The Scot’s second victory in the event – 13 years after winning only the second Qatar Masters – completed a climb of almost 200 places over the past 12 months. 

Heading into the same event a year ago, Lawrie was lying 244th in the world, and by the Sicilian Open in March he was as low as 272nd.

But a win in the Open de Andalucia de Golf a week later heralded a turning point for the 1999 Open Champion as he has fought his way back up the world ranking. His win on Sunday was his fourth successive top ten since finishing second in the Dubai World Championship presented by DP World at the end of last season.

Lawrie is one of 24 European Tour members in the top 50 of the Official World Golf Ranking, topped by the European top four of Luke Donald, Rory McIlroy, Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer.

There were also gains for second placed Jason Day of Australia, who climbed three places to seventh in the world, while Peter Hanson, third at Doha Golf Club, advanced 12 places by moving up to 34th, while Sergio Garcia jumped two places with his tie for fifth place to move to 16th.

On the US PGA Tour, Kyle Stanley put his Torrey Pines nightmare firmly behind him to win the Waste Management Phoenix Open on Sunday and move to 52nd in the world ranking, up from 87th last week and 148th at the start of the year.

Stanley took advantage of Spencer Levin's final-round collapse in Scottsdale, Arizona, to make up eight strokes and seize a hugely satisfying tour triumph by finishing a shot clear of Ben Crane (66).
Having lost a play-off after falling apart last week, Stanley, who won with an unblemished six under par 65 for a 15 under par total, felt for his rival.

"I really feel for (Levin), experiencing that," Stanley said. "You don't want to wish that upon anybody. He's a very good player, way too good a player to not bounce back or recover."

"I'm not sure I expected to maybe recover this quickly. I think the biggest challenge was seeing if I could put last week behind me. I think I did."

Levin extended his lead to seven shots in the morning but finished with a horrible 75 to end up two off Stanley.

"I gave it away, simple as that," he admitted. "If you have a six-shot lead and lose, you gave it away.
"My hat's off to Kyle. He played a great round. He went and got it. But if you've got a six-shot lead and don't win, then I think it's on the player with the lead, for sure."