Rose returns to world No 1

Justin Rose has returned to the top of golf’s world rankings, despite not featuring at the Sentry Tournament of Champions.

Rose, who started the week as world No 2, was one of three eligible players to skip the opening event of the calendar year in Hawaii, where only winners on the PGA Tour in 2018 were able to play.

The FedExCup champion, who held the world No 1 spot for four weeks across three separate spells during 2018, replaced Brooks Koepka at the top of the standings when they were released on Monday.

Koepka needed to finish tied-eighth of better on the Plantation Course to remain world No 1, but ended in 24th spot despite carding a four-under 69 in the final round.

The three-time major winner had been world No 1 for six weeks, having also topped the rankings on two other occasions last year, but has now dropped on place to second spot.

Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau occupy the next three places in the standings, with Xander Schauffele moving to a career-high of world No 6 after snatching a one-shot victory in Hawaii.

Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy, Francesco Molinari and Tony Finau complete the top 10, with Tiger Woods dropping one spot to 14th after joining Rose and Phil Mickelson in not teeing it up.

The PGA Tour stays in Hawaii next for the Sony Open, where Thomas, DeChambeau and Jordan Spieth are among the notable names in action.

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