McIlroy No. 1 in golf rankings

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland holds the winner's trophy after becoming golf's new world number...

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland holds the winner's trophy after becoming golf's new world number one player on the 18th green with his win in the Honda Classic PGA golf tournament at PGA National Golf Club in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida March 4, 2012. REUTERS/Joe Skipper

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, Last Updated: 3:47 PM ET

A week after being denied the top spot by Hunter Mahan, Rory McIlroy held off a Sunday charge by Tiger Woods at The Honda Classic and staked his claim to the top spot in the world rankings.

McIlroy becomes the second-youngest world No. 1, behind Woods, and is the first player from Northern Ireland to top the rankings. McIlroy's win at PGA National was his third on the PGA Tour, to go along with three on the European Tour.

In four worldwide starts this season, the reigning U.S. Open champion has a win, two seconds and a tie for fifth. He has finished outside the top five just once in his last 10 combined starts on the European or PGA Tours.

With McIlroy's move to the top of the rankings, Luke Donald was knocked down to No. 2. He was followed by Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer, Steve Stricker and Webb Simpson.

Jason Day jumped three to No. 7, Dustin Johnson slipped one to eighth and Masters champion Charl Schwartzel climbed three to No. 9 after sharing fifth at The Honda Classic.

Mahan slid one to 10, Adam Scott tumbled three to 11th and Phil Mickelson dipped one to 12th. Bill Haas, Matt Kuchar and Graeme McDowell remained in the 13th to 15th spots, respectively.

Woods improved five notches to 16, while Nick Watney, Sergio Garcia and Brandt Snedeker all dropped one spot. PGA Champion Keegan Bradley held steady at No. 20 and K.J. Choi fell two to No. 21.

Tom Gillis, who shared second with Woods, improved 107 spots to No. 157.


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