Mickelson can't catch Woods in OWGR before playoffs

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Phil Mickelson recently returned to world No. 2 for the first time since September 2010, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll soon topple Tiger Woods for the top spot.

According to Golf Channel’s world-rankings guru Alan Robison, Mickelson is unlikely to become world No. 1 even if he wins both the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and PGA Championship. Viewed another way, Woods is all but assured of being the top-ranked player heading into the FedEx Cup playoffs.

The last two winners of the Bridgestone and PGA earned 76 and 100 points, respectively, according to Robison. Even if Woods earned zero points each of the next two weeks, he would fall to 12.09 in the rankings. Two victories would likely vault Lefty to 11.98. Mickelson, of course, has never reached world No. 1 during his Hall of Fame career.

Besides, if Mickelson is to win his third consecutive start, he’ll have to reverse a poor history at Firestone, site of this week’s event. In his last 10 starts there, he has just one finish inside the top 23.