Woods, who had fallen from top of the rankings just over a year ago to 58th, is now up to 50th, a mere 0.03pts ahead of Retief Goosen, who could only finish tied 46th in the Singapore Open.
Spain’s Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano improves from 126th to 58th thanks to his play-off victory at the Barclays Singapore Open on Monday.
Australian Open winner Greg Chalmers, meanwhile, makes a leap of over 100 places. Way down in 215th going into the tournament in Sydney, the Aussie left-hander is up to 104th.
Fellow southpaw Phil Mickelson has slipped another place, down to 12th, after a disappointing week in Singapore (tied 33rd).
The same players comprise the top 10 although Dustin Johnson has slipped to sixth, Adam Scott has edged in front of Jason Day and Webb Simpson has swapped places with Matt Kuchar after the latter missed the cut in Sydney.
Latest leading positions in the world golf rankings: 1 Luke Donald 10.33, 2 Rory McIlroy 7.55, 3 Lee Westwood 7.49, 4 Martin Kaymer 7.00, 5 Steve Stricker 5.91, 6 Dustin Johnson 5.88, 7 Adam Scott 5.58, 8 Jason Day 5.58, 9 Webb Simpson 5.26, 10 Matt Kuchar 5.14
11 Nick Watney 5.13, 12 Phil Mickelson 5.08, 13 Charl Schwartzel
4.83, 14 Graeme McDowell 4.70, 15 KJ Choi 4.64, 16 Justin Rose 4.22, 17 Bubba Watson 4.05, 18 Sergio Garcia 4.04, 19 Hunter Mahan 3.94, 20 David Toms 3.82