Lowry looks set to face McIlroy in Match Play
American Brandt Snedeker is at a career-best fourth in the world after following up back-to-back runner-up finishes with victory at the Pebble Beach Pro-am. While Shane Lowry looks set to face Rory McIlroy in the Accenture Match Play Championship in Arizona.
Snedeker relegates Justin Rose and Louis Oosthuizen to fifth and sixth respectively on the new rankings, while Richard Sterne's seven-shot win at the Joburg Open moves him up from 94th to 55th and into the field for next week's Accenture Match Play Championship.
The top 64 qualify for the first of this season's world championships, but Phil Mickelson is expected to reject his spot for the second year running - he has reached the quarter-finals only once - and that leaves Ireland's Lowry waiting for confirmation that he is the last man in.
Lowry is 0.0002 ranking points ahead of Swede Fredrik Jacobson, who needed to be seventh on his own at Pebble Beach to earn a Match Play place, but finished in a tie for seventh when American Patrick Reed holed from nearly 12 feet on the final green.
The seeded draw is not made until the rankings are updated again next Sunday night, but as things stand Lowry would face world number one McIlroy in the opening round and Rose would be up against Scot Richie Ramsay.
Latest leading positions in the world golf rankings:
1 Rory McIlroy 12.03pts, 2 Tiger Woods 9.03, 3 Luke Donald 7.58, 4 Brandt Snedeker 6.91, 5 Justin Rose 6.44, 6 Louis Oosthuizen 6.44, 7 Adam Scott 5.85, 8 Lee Westwood 5.50, 9 Bubba Watson 5.28, 10 Phil Mickelson 5.16
11 Ian Poulter 5.04, 12 Jason Dufner 4.97, 13 Steve Stricker 4.85, 14 Sergio Garcia 4.80, 15 Keegan Bradley 4.79, 16 Charl Schwartzel 4.72, 17 equal Dustin Johnson and Webb Simpson 4.69, 19 Graeme McDowell 4.43, 20 Peter Hanson 4.38
Other leading Europeans: 27 Martin Kaymer, 30 Jamie Donaldson, 31 Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano
32 Paul Lawrie, 34 Carl Pettersson, 35 Francesco Molinari, 39 Nicolas Colsaerts, 40 Thorbjorn Olesen, 44 Matteo Manassero, 48 Padraig Harrington, 49 Thomas Bjorn, 50 Alexander Noren, 51 David Lynn, 52 Henrik Stenson, 57 Stephen Gallacher, 58 Rafael Cabrera Bello, 60 Chris Wood, 61 Richie Ramsay, 63 Marcel Siem, 65 Shane Lowry, 66 Fredrik Jacobson, 67 Bernd Wiesberger, 68 Miguel Angel Jimenez, 69 Anders Hansen, 70 Scott Jamieson, 81 Simon Dyson, 85 Kristoffer Broberg, 86 Jonas Blixt, 87 Danny Willett, 88 Martin Laird, 97 Fredrik Andersson Hed