Tiger Woods continued his stunning rise up the world rankings on Monday by officially returning to the top 10 for the first time since 2014 after his dramatic fifth Masters win at Augusta National on Sunday.
The 43-year-old climbed six spots to sixth after a one-shot victory at Augusta National which crowned one of the greatest comeback stories in sport with a first major title since the 2008 US Open.
Woods’ next target may be a return to the top of the rankings, where he spent a record 683 weeks between 1997 and 2014, including 281 consecutively.
He was ranked outside the top 1 000 in November 2017 when he embarked on his comeback from a fourth back surgery, but now has the top five of Dustin Johnson, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka, Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas in his sights.
Johnson reclaimed the world No 1 ranking from Rose just a week after losing it to the Englishman, thanks to his tied-second finish behind Woods as Rose missed the Masters cut for the first time in his career.
Koepka jumped back above McIlroy to third despite narrowly missing out on a fourth major title in just seven attempts.
Xander Schauffele, the other runner-up in Georgia, moved up one place to ninth.
Woods has thanked his “family, friends and fans” for their support after the golfing superstar claimed his 15th Major at Augusta National on Sunday.
Starting the final round two strokes adrift of leader Francesco Molinari, Woods posted a 2-under par 70 to win by a single stroke from a trio of American compatriots, Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Xander Schauffele.
Woods’ 15th Major moves him to within three of all-time leader, Jack Nicklaus.
The win was Woods’ first since the 2008 US Open and his first Masters victory since 2005.
Woods’ mother, son, daughter and girlfriend were all supporting green-side as he walked off the 18th hole.
Once the formalities had taken place and the euphoria had died down, Woods took to Twitter to write to his nearly 6.5 million followers, “I can’t thank my family, friends and fans enough for their support.
Having my family by my side today is something I will never forget. To not only be able to play again, but to be able to win again, is something I will forever be grateful for. This jacket sure is comfortable.”
Woods will get the chance to add to his Major tally at the PGA Championship which will be contested Bethpage State Park’s Black Course from May 16-19.
Top 20 in the latest world rankings
1. Dustin Johnson (USA) 10.01
2. Justin Rose (ENG) 9.20
3. Brooks Koepka (USA) 8.96
4. Rory McIlroy (NIR) 8.32
5. Justin Thomas (USA) 8.04
6. Tiger Woods (USA) 7.74
7. Francesco Molinari (ITA) 7.43
8. Bryson DeChambeau (USA) 7.24
9. Xander Schauffele (USA) 6.56
10. Rickie Fowler (USA) 6.00
11. Jon Rahm (ESP) 5.98
12. Paul Casey (ENG) 5.40
13. Jason Day (AUS) 5.23
14. Tony Finau (USA) 5.15
15. Tommy Fleetwood (ENG) 5.02
16. Matt Kuchar (USA) 4.87
17. Bubba Watson (USA) 4.60
18. Patrick Cantlay (USA) 4.36
19. Patrick Reed (USA) 4.35
20. Webb Simpson (USA) 4.22