Tiger Woods has been having a pretty bad year between his sex scandals, divorce rumors, and poor -- well, for him -- showings in back-to-back tournaments. Phil Mickelson can make it even worse.
Mickelson, the Masters tournament champion needs one more win to become the No. 1 ranked golfer in the world.
He can potentially get the win he needs at the Colonial this week, a tournament that holds a particular significance to Mickelson and his family. It was at this same tournament last year that the No. 2 golfer in the world learned that his wife had breast cancer.
However, even if Lefty isn’t able to secure victory this week, he should be able to take his place at the top of the golf mountain soon enough.
By staying away from the spot to deal with his marital issues, Woods continued to lose both points and potential victories to the man who has made a career of finishing runner-up to him. He then lost even more ground when Mickelson actually beat Woods at the Augusta National, and finished second alone at the Quail Hollow with a birdie on the last hole.
If Mickelson is able to attain the coveted rank, he would be doing so for the first time in his career. The man who has 40 worldwide victories and four majors victories has never seen his name atop the money list, player of the year trophy, or beside the No. 1 in the world ranking.
England's Lee Westwood -- who currently sits at the No. 3 seed -- had this to say about the race for No. 1:
“Tiger’s performance and schedule and things like that are unpredictable at the moment, aren’t they? We have all seen that the last few weeks. Phil is obviously a world-class player and has already won a major this year, but you know, his performances are very much up-and-down as well. I suppose No. 2 and No. 1 are more achievable than they have been in the last few years.”
The Mark H. McCormack Award which is given to the player who has ranked No. 1 in the world for the most weeks during a calendar year was created 12 years ago. Since that time, only one name has been engraved on the trophy: Tiger Woods.
The amazing reign by Woods comes as a result of 14 majors victories, 82 official wins and more than $100 million in earnings worldwide. According to Yahoo Sports, Woods has been atop the golf rankings 93 percent of the time since 1998.
It is fitting that after the stranglehold that Woods’ has had over the sport, that it’s his play that is ultimately the biggest reason the players chasing him have a shot at the No. 1 seed.
Even if Mickelson is able to put his name on the Mark H. McCormack Award, will it really mean as much knowing that it came at a time when Woods’ head was off in divorce court and TMZ land?