Tiger Woods' Reign at World No. 1 Ranking in Jeopardy
Tiger Woods' reign as world No. 1 could slip away this weekend in Florida, if fellow American Phil Mickelson can snag a victory at the Players Championship in TPC Sawgrass and Woods finishes outside the top five.
Mickelson has closed the gap on Woods during the latter's five-month hiatus from golf, earning 164.95 points in 2010 compared to Woods' 27. Lefty trails by just 31.39 total points and threatens to end Woods' 258-week streak atop the World Golf Rankings.
Coming off an impressive second-place finish at Quail Hollow in Charlotte, Mickelson's growing confidence in his game puts him in contention to win what is becoming known as golf's fifth major. "The Players is a really big event," Mickelson said on Sunday. "It's one we all would like to play well and fortunately my game is really close."
On the other end of the spectrum, Woods shot an agonizing 9-over par at Quail Hollow on the way to missing the cut for only the sixth time in his career. "Yeah, I didn't play well," he said just after shooting an ugly 79 on Friday. "My short game wasn't very good. I chipped poorly, putted poorly."
Woods didn't seem to have the laser-like focus and determination that he is known for, and nearly all aspects of his game struggled as a result. He'll need a major turnaround if he hopes to continue his stay atop the rankings.
In the 24-year history of the World Golf Rankings, Woods has been No. 1 for a total of 598 weeks. Greg Norman's 331 weeks at the No. 1 spot is the next highest total.