When Graeme McDowell beat Tiger Woods in a play-off for the Chevron World Challenge four weeks ago, he jumped four places to a career high seventh in the world.

But while he hasn’t hit an official shot in anger since then, he’s moved up another two places in the rankings, finishing the year at world No 6 before jumping one place to a career best of world No 5 in the first world ranking of 2011.

(Click to enlarge) Graeme McDowell’s world ranking isn’t the only thing that’s changing.Lee Westwood, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Martin Kaymer occupy the first four places with Jim Furyk falling one place to sixth. Steve Striker, Paul Casey, Luke Donald and Rory McIlroy round out the top-10 but there was a fall of two places for Padraig Harrington, who is now 25th in the world - a fall of 20 places over the past 12 months.

Darren Clarke also slipped back a couple of spots to 100th, Peter Lawrie dropped two places to 108th with Gareth Maybin steady at 110th.

Damien McGrane jumped six places to a new high of 119th with Shane Lowry, out until February following a wrist injury sustained in a fall on the ice, down two spots to 163rd.

McDowell will have a great chance to close the gap on Mickelson at world No 4 when he tees it up in the opening event of the PGA Tour season in Hawaii this week - the winners-only Hyundai Tournament of Champions on Maui.

Clarke and Maybin will also have a chance to make a move in the European Tour co-sanctioned Africa Open on the Sunshine Tour.

World Ranking, 3 January 2011