Mickelson back in the world elite

Lefty heading back in right direction despite playoff agony at Riviera

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Consolation prize: Mickelson moves to ninth

Phil Mickelson has moved back inside the world’s top ten for the first time in four months despite missing out on a consecutive victory on the PGA Tour.

The four-time major champion, who lost out to Bill Haas’ monster birdie putt on the second extra hole of the three-man playoff at the Northern Trust Open, bumps up two places to ninth.

Following another remarkable playoff victory, Haas climbs ten rungs up the world ladder to a career-high 12th, while Bradley, the third man in the playoff, jumps into the top 20 for the first time at 19th and one place ahead of Tiger Woods.

Luke Donald spends his 38th week in charge of affairs at the top of the world, albeit off the back of his worst performance since the 2011 Open Championship.

On the European Tour, Avantha Masters champion Jbe Kruger vaulted 50 places up the rankings to 109th, while Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood again swap places - despite neither picking up a club.

Latest standings

1 Luke Donald 9.26pts
2 Rory McIlroy 7.80
3 Lee Westwood 7.80
4 Martin Kaymer 5.96
5 Steve Stricker 5.68
6 Webb Simpson 5.17
7 Jason Day 5.11
8 Adam Scott 5.10
9 Phil Mickelson 5.05
10 Dustin Johnson 5.03
11 Charl Schwartzel 4.86
12 Bill Haas 4.68
13 Graeme McDowell 4.42
14 Matt Kuchar 4.37
15 Nick Watney 4.26
16 Sergio Garcia 4.16
17 KJ Choi 4.14
18 Brandt Snedeker 4.00
19 Keegan Bradley 3.96
20 Tiger Woods 3.77

Other leading Europeans: 23 Justin Rose, 24 Paul Casey, 25 Ian Poulter, 26 Thomas Bjorn, 28 Simon Dyson, 29 Alvaro Quiros, 32 Robert Karlsson, 35 Peter Hanson, 36 Anders Hansen, 37 Fredrik Jacobson, 40 Martin Laird, 43 Francesco Molinari, 45 Paul Lawrie, 48 Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, 52 Miguel Angel Jimenez, 53 Darren Clarke, 59 Robert Rock, 60 Rafael Cabrera Bello, 61 Matteo Manassero, 64 Nicolas Colsaerts, 67 Joost Luiten, 75 Alexander Noren, 83 Edoardo Molinari, 85 Pablo Larrazabal, 87 Padraig Harrington, 88 Carl Pettersson, 90 Gregory Havret, 91 David Lynn, 94 Jamie Donaldson, 95 Michael Hoey, 100 Stephen Gallacher.

All-time World No.1 records

Tiger Woods (US) 623 weeks
Greg Norman (Aus) 331 weeks
Nick Faldo (Eng) 97 weeks
Seve Ballesteros (Spa) 61 weeks
Ian Woosnam (Wal) 50 weeks
Nick Price (Zim) 44 weeks
Luke Donald (Eng) 38 weeks
Vijay Singh (Fij) 32 weeks
Lee Westwood (Eng) 22 weeks
Fred Couples (US) 16 weeks
David Duval (US) 15 weeks
Ernie Els (RSA) 9 weeks
Martin Kaymer (Ger) 8 weeks
Bernhard Langer (Ger) 3 weeks
Tom Lehman (US) 1 week

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Shows you what a difference putting make at the top of the game!! I dont think i can spot a difference in phils game other than holing a few!!

Posted: 20/02/2012 at 11:30

In a way your right CBE.  Hole a few big putts and it can make a big difference.

Its also some luck of the tee.  The amount of times the top players find a decent lie in the middle of the trees is unbelievable.

Posted: 20/02/2012 at 14:10

take the third round by phil mickleson, I could have driven it straighter, but he never even had a restricted shot in!! 

It was often said Tiger was the luckiest golfer ever!

Posted: 20/02/2012 at 14:31

They always have a shot to the green, maybe a little bit of movement left or right but its not often they have to just chip out sideways.

Posted: 20/02/2012 at 14:49

Suppose thats my point about putting, I've not checked Phils placings for driving accuracy or GIR but I bet they are pretty constant?  With maybe an exception of his masters win where he drove it perfect all week?

Posted: 20/02/2012 at 16:06

And when Tiger was winning he sunk putt after putt.

Posted: 20/02/2012 at 16:27

Great news! Just shows you: form is temporary, class is permanent.

Posted: 20/02/2012 at 16:32

Can see Phil showing very well in the major's this year if he can keep his putting form going, the rest of his game is usually very good. Great to see him playing well again.

Posted: 20/02/2012 at 17:28

If it wasnt for Tiger I think Phil would have been considered as one of the modern greats. 

Posted: 20/02/2012 at 17:41

I think it would be unfair to not consider Phil as one of the modern greats.

Posted: 20/02/2012 at 17:54

Definitely one of the modern greats in my opinion.  Without Tiger he would have maybe won more majors.

Posted: 20/02/2012 at 18:13

I do think he's a modern great. Just seems a bit underrated in my opinion.

Posted: 20/02/2012 at 18:15

bigeasy94 wrote (see)

I do think he's a modern great. Just seems a bit underrated in my opinion.

Not in my opinion

Posted: 20/02/2012 at 18:40

Yorkey is in love

Posted: 20/02/2012 at 18:46