Pros advice

Mickelson Climbs World Rankings

The latest Official World Golf Rankings have been published in the wake of a tremendous week of action at Muirfield, and they’ve seen Phil Mickelson hop to number two.

Sixth-placed finisher, Tiger Woods, still has a mighty stronghold on the top-spot, but results over the past couple of weeks have given the summit of the world rankings a distinctly 2004-5 look.

A lot of time has elapsed since Phil was close enough to nip at Tiger’s heels, but back-to-back wins at Castle Stuart, and the Open Championship have moved ‘Lefty’ in ahead of Rory McIlroy.

The rise of players like McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, and Jordan Speith, seemed to signify a changing of the guard in the golfing world order, but Phil’s latest big win, coupled with his Scottish Open success, has rolled the rankings clock back.

Other big movers and shakers in the latest standings include Ian Poulter, who has climbed six places to 14th after his Sunday magic. Muirfield runner-up Henrik Stenson too has made a significant shift, up to 20th, and Open heartbreak-specialist Lee Westwood has moved back into the top 10 courtesy of his tied-third finish.

Phil has never been ranked at the very summit before, in spite of having spent 265 weeks at number two in the world, and the gap between him and Tiger at present suggests that he could well add to that tally. The challenge now for Phil is to try and at least stay at two, and to fight off all the young pretenders.