Lee Westwood the bridesmaid again but continues his charge back up the world rankings

The Englishman has returned to the world’s top 20 after a lengthy absence while others have made serious moves up the charts following excellent displays at THE PLAYERS Championship

It didn't quite work out for Lee Westwood at THE PLAYERS Championship after he fell victim to a charging Justin Thomas and had to settle for being runner-up on the PGA TOUR for the second week running.

But let's not feel too sorry for the Englishman.

He's played just seven times on the PGA TOUR this season and, bar some loose change, has pocketed a staggering $3million.

His stellar performances at Bay Hill, where he was pipped by Bryson DeChambeau, and TPC Sawgrass have also had a big boost on his world ranking. In fact, thanks to his Sawgrass display, the 47-year-old is higher than he's been for eight years.

What's more, Westwood is now returning to Augusta National after failing to qualify last year. He's 33/1 with Unibet to win The Masters.

PLAYERS winner Thomas is up to World No.2 following his brilliant win in Florida on Sunday while others have made important moves after strong weeks at Sawgrass.

Of particular interest are those hovering around No.50 in the OWGR.

If not already qualified, a player needs to be in the top 50 the week before next month's Masters to get into the Augusta showpiece.

Here, Planet Sport looks at some of the key movers after the showdown at Sawgrass.

Justin Thomas - No.2 (up one)

JT has previously been top of the charts, hitting the summit for one week only after winning last year's WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational and enjoying a four-week stint in 2018. His victory at THE PLAYERS Championship nudges him up a spot and he's now the closest rival to Dustin Johnson. With DJ stalling in recent weeks after finishes of T54 and T48, Thomas will have his eyes on being World No.1 again - but this time for a sustained period.

Thomas is 12/1 with bet365 to win The Masters.

Bryson DeChambeau - No.5 (up one)

DeChambeau is doing plenty to suggest he's a future chart topper and golf's biggest hitter has moved up from 11th to 5th in the last two weeks thanks to his win at Bay Hill (10th to 6th) and tied third at THE PLAYERS (6th to 5th). This equals his highest-ever ranking but surely there's more to come on the evidence of his hot fortnight in Florida.

DeChambeau is 11/1 with Betfred to win The Masters.

Paul Casey - No.17 (up two)

The Englishman was 27th going into January's Dubai Desert Classic but he's jumped 10 spots after a superb run of form. Casey won that Dubai event and has since added T12 in the Saudi International, T5 at Pebble Beach, T10 at Bay Hill and T5 at THE PLAYERS. The latter performance lifted him two spots to keep him firmly established in the top 20.

Casey is 45/1 with Unibet to win The Masters.

Lee Westwood - No.19 (up 12)

Westwood isn't getting the wins but aside from that he appears to be having the time of his life: he's playing superb golf, having a blast with girlfriend and caddie Helen Storey and boosting his world ranking by the week. Thanks to his solo seconds at Bay Hill and Sawgrass, the veteran Englishman and former No.1 is back in the world's top 20 for the first time since 2013. The runner-up finish at Bay Hill lifted him eight spots while his Sawgrass second vaulted him from 31st to 19th.

Corey Conners - No.41 (up three)

Conners doesn't have to worry about Masters qualification as a tied 10th there last year automatically punched his ticket for 2021. If his Augusta travel plans were based on world ranking, it wouldn't have looked so good for the Canadian at the end of 2020 after he'd slipped outside the top 50. But after two big weeks in Florida - third at Bay Hill and now seventh at THE PLAYERS - he's up to 41st in the rankings, edging up three spots after his strong finish at Sawgrass.

Si-Woo Kim - No.48 (up six)

The Korean famously won the 2017 PLAYERS Championship, a result which took him to a ranking high of 28th. He'd slipped outside the top 100 last year but victory in The American Express in January lifted him from 96th to 48th. After a poor run in his next five events, Kim was back to 54th but he's returned to that all-important top 50 thanks to a T9 at Sawgrass.

Brian Harman - No.58 (up 34)

Harman is still outside the top 50 but the former World No.20 is threatening to get back in after a brilliant week at Sawgrass. The left-hander kept his challenge going to the finish and was rewarded with a tie for third, a result that elevated him 34 spots from 92nd to 58th. He's played The Masters just once since 2015 (T44 in 2018) but Augusta National is in his crosshairs again.

Talor Gooch - No.64 (up 18)

Gooch closed with a 67 at TPC Sawgrass to tie for fifth and land the biggest payday of his career. The American was outside the world's top 200 in February last year but he ended 2020 in 81st and is now up to a career-high 64th after his week to remember at THE PLAYERS. One more big finish and Gooch could be Augusta bound.

READ MORE: A look at PLAYERS Championship winner Justin Thomas' hopes of glory in the 2021 Majors

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