Olesen earns Masters invite through final World Ranking of 2012

17/12/2012 17:57:32
Thorbjorn Olesen   (Getty Images)
Thorbjorn Olesen (Getty Images)

Dane Thorbjørn Olesen has earned himself a Masters Tournament debut after climbing into the world’s top 50 with the final World Ranking of 2012.

Rory McIlroy leads the way as World Number One ahead of Luke Donald, with Justin Rose tucked in behind Tiger Woods – the three Europeans in the world’s top four heading a list of 23 members in the top 50 at the year-end.

Of those in the top 50 Olesen had plenty to celebrate after he edged ahead of Geoff Ogilvy in the final competitive week of the year to become the sixth European Tour Member set to earn their first invitation to Augusta National next April, joining fellow debutants in the top 50 Branden Grace, Nicolas Colsaerts, Jamie Donaldson, George Coetzee and David Lynn, who was already exempt after finishing runner-up in the US PGA Championship.

Olesen climbed 113 places over the course of the year, but it was Grace who made the biggest advance over the past 12 months among those in the world’s top 50 as he leapt from 271st at the end of 2011 to 34th.

Paul Lawrie, Francesco Molinari, Matteo Manassero, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño and Thomas Björn have also now qualified for Augusta through the top 50.

Charl Schwartzel and Sergio Garcia end the year 14th and 16th in the world respectively after their weekend wins in South Africa and Malaysia.

Schwartzel followed an 11-shot victory at the Thailand Championship with a 12-stroke triumph - the third biggest margin in European Tour history - at the Alfred Dunhill Championship.

Garcia shot a closing 61 to take the Johor Iskandar Open by three, a performance which means eight of Europe's Ryder Cup side in Chicago have lifted trophies since that memorable week in September.

The Final Official World Golf Ranking of 2012 features the following breakdowns:-
5 European Tour Members in the top ten;
10 in the top 20;
14 in the top 30;
17 in the top 40;
23 in the top 50;
32 in the top 60;
49 in the top 100.