Mickelson could topple Woods as world number one on Sunday

LONDON, (Reuters) – Tiger Woods’s 258-week reign as  world number one could be ended by fellow American Phil Mickelson on Sunday.

Woods, who recently returned to golf after a break of five  months following revelations about extra-marital affairs, missed  the cut as a professional for only the sixth time at last week’s  Quail Hollow Championship in North Carolina.

Mickelson (9.66 average points) can heap more woe on the  14-times major winner and top the rankings if he triumphs at  this week’s Players Championship in Florida and Woods (11.17)  finishes outside the top five in the tournament dubbed the  ‘fifth major’.

“The Players is a really big event,” Mickelson told reporters on Sunday. “It’s one we all would like to play well  and fortunately my game is really close.

“Some adjustments here or there and hopefully I should be  able to get in contention again next Sunday.”

Mickelson was second at Quail Hollow, four shots behind Rory  McIlroy who fired a course record 10-under 62 on his way to  becoming the youngest winner on the PGA Tour since Woods in  1996.

The Briton, who turns 21 today, blew away the rest of  the field with a shotmaking masterclass that lifted him to ninth in the rankings, a jump of four places.

“I shot 16-under on the weekend around a golf course like  this,” McIlroy said. “You can’t get much more of a confidence  boost than that but I’ve still got a long way to go.

“I just want to concentrate on getting a few more wins and  learn as much as I can at the majors.”

Another youngster who enhanced his reputation over the  weekend was Japan’s Ryo Ishikawa who carded a stunning 12-under  58 to win the seventh title of his career at the Crowns  tournament in Nagoya.

The win moved the 18-year-old nine places to number 38 in the rankings.

Around the Web