Graeme McDowell remained 24th in the latest world rankings despite finishing tied eighth behind Adam Scott in the Talisker Masters in Melbourne.
The 2010 US Open champion ended up 15 shots behind Scott on two under after closing with a one under 71 at Kingston Heath where Scott’s five-under 67 gave him a four-shot win over defending champion Ian Poulter (72).
Scott also failed to make a move in the rankings, remaining at fifth despite his win.
But Hong Kong Open winner Miguel Angel Jiménez jumped 39 spots to 59th as he replaced Des Smyth as the oldest winner in the history of the European Tour, beating the Drogheda man’s 2001 Madeira Islands Open record by 284 days to set the new mark at 48 years, 10 months and 13 days.
“Well, this is maybe the olive oil in my joints, and the nice Rioja wine and those things keep yourself fit and flexible, no?” Jiménez said of the secret of his success.
“Well, the most important thing, I say I do what I like to do in my life, and golf has given me all of this pleasure. Winning now, as you say, the oldest winner on the Tour, 48, my goodness, 24 years I’ve been on the Tour, I’ve been around; next year will be the 25th.”
As for Hong Kong, he said: “This is a great place, and I love to come here every year. Since 2004, I haven’t missed a year. I like the city, and especially I like the golf course. It’s a golf course where length is not the most important thing. I just feel very comfortable out here, and that shows in my results.”
Smyth, who will be 60 in February, was seriously impressed by a win that leaves the Malaga man 11th in all-time list of European Tour winners with 19 wins.
“That’s my 11-year record down the drain,” Smyth joked on Sunday as Jimenez official became the oldest winner on tour. “It was good while it lasted but all good things come to an end and Miguel was fantastic.
“When I saw he was going well this week, I said, I think it’s going to go this time.
“I got up at about 7.30am and watched the last four or five holes. He played like a stallion. He played flawless golf and dropped two shots in the 72 holes and did drop a shot in his last 54 holes. You don’t get much better than that. He’s an incredible player.”
Following his first missed cut since June’s US Open, Rory McIlroy saw his lead at the top of the world rankings cut to 3.52 points as Luke Donald won the Dunlop Phoenix Open in Japan to replace Tiger Woods as world No 2.
Peter Lawrie’s fourth place finish in Hong Kong saw him return to the world’s top 200 with a move of 24 places to world No 173.
Shane Lowry rose three places to 57th despite taking a week off and will have the top 50 in his sights if he can finish in the top five in the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.
Padraig Harrington could also do with a rankings boost in his final event of the season if he is not to leave himself with too much to do early in 2013 to return to the world’s top 50 and make sure of his place in the WGC-Cadillac Championship in Miami in March.
While a win in Dubai would propel the Dubliner comfortably into the top 40, his second successive missed cut on the back of his PGA Grand Slam of Golf win has seen him fall a further four places to 66th.
As for the rest of the Irish, Michael Hoey is 134th while Ryder Cup captaincy antagonists Darren Clarke and Paul McGinley are 138th and 290th respectively.