Bae, McDowell move up in OWGR after victories

Sang-Moon Bae after his approach shot to the fifth green in the second round of the Northern Trust Open at Riviera Country Club in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles Friday, Feb. 15, 2013.

Sang-Moon Bae after his approach shot to the fifth green in the second round of the Northern Trust Open at Riviera Country Club in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles Friday, Feb. 15, 2013.

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Sang-Moon Bae’s victory at the HP Byron Nelson Championship, his first PGA Tour win, moved him to No. 64 in the latest Official World Golf Ranking.

Bae improved 42 spots from the previous week (No. 106). He also becomes the highest-ranked Korean, surpassing K.J. Choi, who dropped from No. 86 to No. 92 this week.

It’s not the highest ranking of Bae’s career, though. He was ranked No. 26 after finishing T-31 at the Dunlop Phoenix, a tournament on the Japan Golf Tour.

The top 60 in the OWGR after this week earn spots in this year's U.S. Open. Chris Wood is currently No. 60, 0.01 points ahead of Angel Cabrera.

Also, Keegan Bradley’s runner-up finish in Irving, Texas, moved him from No. 14 to No. 11, which is where he was prior to finishing T-54 at the Masters and then missing two straight cuts (Zurich Classic and the Players). Bradley has never been ranked higher than No. 10 – he was 10th for one week following his T-3 finish at Bay Hill this season.

• • •

G-Mac up to No. 7

Following his victory at the Volvo World Match Play Championship, Graeme McDowell improved one spot to No. 7, trading places with Louis Oosthuizen, who dropped to eighth after withdrawing at the Byron Nelson.

McDowell has two victories in his last three starts. His win at the RBC Heritage moved him from No. 18 to No. 8. McDowell’s best OWGR ranking is fourth, which he held for much of the first few months of 2011.

Thongchai Jaidee, who finished runner-up to McDowell in Bulgaria, improved 10 spots to No. 49. He’s now inside the top 50 for the first time in his career. Jaidee will play in this week’s BMW PGA Championship on the European Tour. He was ranked No. 193 in the OWGR entering that event a year ago.

• • •

The top 10

Here are the top 10 golfers in the world according to the OWGR (as of Week 20; previous week's ranking in parentheses):

1. (1) Tiger Woods . . . 13.53

2. (2) Rory McIlroy . . . 10.23

3. (3) Adam Scott . . . 7.72

4. (4) Justin Rose . . . 6.47

5. (5) Brandt Snedeker . . . 6.33

6. (6) Luke Donald . . . 6.25

7. (8) Graeme McDowell . . . 5.90

8. (7) Louis Oosthuizen . . . 5.66

9. (10) Phil Mickelson . . . 5.26

10. (9) Steve Stricker . . . 5.22

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