Harrington returns to action in California

By Brian Keogh

Padraig Harrington held on to his world No 10 spot as Tiger Woods surged even further ahead at the top of the rankings.

The Dubliner is in California to prepare for this week's Pebble Beach Pro-Am and the build up to the WGC - Accenture Match Play Championship in Tucson from February 20-24.

But he is now a massive 15.36 points behind runaway No 1 Woods, following the American's amazing one-stroke victory in Dubai on Sunday.

Woods extended his lead at the top to the rankings and grabbed his eighth win from his last nine starts thanks to a blistering back nine in a final round 65.

The Californian now has more than double the world ranking points of world No 2 Phil Mickelson.

With two wins from as manay starts in 2008, Woods was asked what kind of message that sent to his rivals with the Masters still 10 weeks away.

He said: "I don't know about sending messages. I am just happy about winning the two tournaments.

"It an ideal start. To go two-for-two, it's a pretty good start."

The gap between Woods and No 2 Mickelson is now wider than the gap between Mickelson and the world No 1000.

But when asked what made him so dominant, Woods took the chance to have a good-natured swipe at England's Ian Poulter who suggested that he would become Woods main rival once he started playing to his potential.

He beamed: "I thought Poulter was No 2. No, hey, I just go out there and play to win and you know, so far, that's what I've done this year."