McIlroy up to third as Britons dominate golf’s world rankings

(CNN) — Newly-crowned U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy has risen to a career-high third in golf’s world rankings, while British players occupy the sport’s top three for the first time since the system was introduced in 1986.

McIlroy, 22, dominated the field from start to finish at the Congressional County Club to record an emphatic eight-shot victory en route to landing his first major in June.

The Northern Irishman also put in a strong showing at April’s Masters tournament, where he led by four strokes going into the final day only to shoot an 80 and slip down the leaderboard.

The Holywood native is now only behind English duo Luke Donald and Lee Westwood in the rankings, with the pair first and second respectively.

McIlroy romps to U.S. Open triumph

Donald has now been at the top of world golf since he defeated Westwood in a playoff to clinch the PGA Championship on May 29.

The 38-year-old Westwood had occupied the number one spot for a total of 22 weeks prior to being usurped by his compatriot, but neither player has been able to match McIlroy and clinch a maiden major title.

Reigning PGA Championship winner Martin Kaymer completes an all-European top four, with the German also having previously topped the rankings.

Steve Stricker is the highest-ranked American; the 44-year-old is fifth ahead of four-time major winner Phil Mickelson in sixth and Matt Kuchar, who has three PGA Tour wins to his name, in seventh.

McIlroy’s fellow Northern Irishman and 2010 U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell is eighth, with Australia’s Jason Day ninth after finishing second in both this year’s majors. Charl Schwartzel, the Masters winner from South Africa, completes the top ten.

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