Justin Rose is now the world number four
Tiger Woods is the only American to make it into the world's top four in the end of year rankings.
Europe's triumphant players had Seve Ballesteros on their minds after their remarkable Ryder Cup victory in Medinah.
German's nerveless putt on the 18th retains Ryder Cup for Olazabal's side
The spirit of Seve Ballesteros is everywhere at Royal Lytham. It was here in 1979 that his legend began, winning his first of three Open Championships. He triumphed again on this beautifully rugged Lancashire links in 1988, and the R&A unveiled a portrait of Seve early this week, which will hang in the clubhouse. Members and visitors will for ever be able to raise a glass and look up to him, resplendent in that trademark navy blue Slazenger sweater cradling his beloved Claret Jug.
America's courtship of Rory McIlroy, which began with a hug after his Sunday 80 last year, is now a full-on love affair. The 22-year-old from Holywood signed for a second-round 69, three under par, that took him to four under for the tournament, and had the galleries cheering his name as he climbed the hill to the clubhouse.
Luke Donald, Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood fill the top three spots on the world rankings going into The Masters - and any one of them could be number one at the end of the week.
A stranger to the game of golf would have been hard-pushed to recognise Luke Donald as the world no 1 yesterday, partly because there was very little accompanying razzmatazz – spectators were manifestly more interested in the group just ahead, which included a young Ulsterman called McIlroy – but partly also because Donald's short game, usually as reliable as a metronome, clicked only sporadically.
Swede Fredrik Jacobson is up from 110th to 61st in the world after his win in America, while Spaniard Pablo Larrazabal climbs 86 spots to 94th after beating Sergio Garcia in a play-off at the BMW International Open in Germany.
Henrik Stenson bogeyed his last two holes but still led the BMW International Open at the midway point in the second round in Munich today.
Former World No 1 Vijay Singh will compete at Sunningdale next month in a bid to qualify for the Open at Royal St George's.
It takes a lot to overshadow Tiger Woods when he is reprising an act once so familiar in sport and slicing through the field with a sizzling 66. But Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia threatened to do just that as the Desert Classic reached halfway here yesterday.
Eight players are separated by a single shot at the halfway stage of the Volvo Golf Champions in Bahrain – with Miguel Angel Jimenez among them despite breaking his putter in two pieces.
Ian Poulter risked reigniting his feud with Colin Montgomerie yesterday when launching a savage critique of the Bahrain course designed by his former Ryder Cup captain. "Simply the worst greens I have ever seen," said the Englishman. "They are embarrassing."
Defending champion well in the hunt but Tiger looks bland in Melbourne