Golf: Rory McIlroy climbs to world No. 3, Dustin Johnson retains top ranking

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays a shot from a bunker on March 30, 2019.
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays a shot from a bunker on March 30, 2019.PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (AFP) - Rory McIlroy continued his rise up the world rankings on Monday (April 1) as the four-time major champion jumped one spot to third, while Dustin Johnson retained his narrow lead at the top.

Northern Irishman McIlroy, who started the year ranked eighth, was beaten in the last 16 of the WGC World Matchplay by Tiger Woods but still moved past Brooks Koepka into third.

Johnson secured an 81st week as world No. 1 despite a group-stage exit in Austin, as his closest rival Justin Rose also fell at the first hurdle.

Woods climbed two spots to 12th place, while Sunday's Matchplay winner Kevin Kisner rose from 50th to 25th.

Jordan Spieth's freefall down the rankings continued, as the three-time major champion slipped out of the top 30 despite posting his best finish of 2019 by finishing tied-24th in Texas.