Lee Westwood has reason to smile even though he didn’t hit a shot at TPC Sawgrass.
The former world No. 1 was not in the field for The Players Championship, but a week off only dropped Westwood from No. 62 to No. 64 in the latest installment of the Official World Golf Ranking. That means that he hung on to the final spot in the 64-man field for next week’s WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, with the rankings cutoff made following the PGA Tour’s flagship event.
Westwood, who hasn’t teed it up since a T-33 finish at the WGC-Mexico Championship, will be making just his second start in a WGC event since August 2017.
While the 64 qualified players are now set, including No. 62 Russell Knox and No. 63 Aaron Wise, the seeding for pods (Nos. 1-16, 17-32, 33-48 and 49-64) will be determined based on the rankings after the Valspar Championship. In the event of a withdrawal, world No. 65 Satoshi Kodaira is first alternate, followed by Luke List, Joost Luiten and Adam Hadwin.
Rory McIlroy moved up two spots to No. 4 after his victory at TPC Sawgrass, but the biggest rankings move was reserved for the runner-up. Jim Furyk jumped 110 spots to No. 57, qualifying him for next week’s event in Austin despite playing this season on conditional Tour status. Eddie Pepperell jumped seven spots to No. 36 after his T-3 finish, while the same result moved Jhonattan Vegas from 116th to 79th.
Dustin Johnson remains world No. 1 for another week, followed by Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka, McIlroy and Justin Thomas. Bryson DeChambeau dropped one spot to No. 6, with Francesco Molinari, Rickie Fowler, Xander Schauffele and Jon Rahm rounding out the top 10.
After tying for 30th at The Players, Tiger Woods fell two spots to No. 13 in the latest rankings.