DORAL, Fla. – Phil Mickelson will pass Tiger Woods in the world rankings this week by simply finishing ahead of Woods at the WGC-Cadillac Championship.
Mickelson hasn’t ranked ahead of Woods since April 6, 1997.
Mickelson’s never had a better chance to pass Woods in the world rankings in that time span than he has this week at Doral.
In fact, No. 5 Woods and No. 6 Mickelson have bunched so close in the rankings that Mickelson can finish behind Woods at Doral this week and still pass him in the world rankings.
While that might sound strange, it’s a function of world rankings math, based on divisors (events played) and world-ranking points lost in the two-year rolling formula. If neither were playing this week, Mickelson would still pass Woods.
Mickelson can finish behind Woods at Doral and still have a chance to pass him in the world rankings as long as Woods does not finish seventh or higher here and as long as Mickelson stays close to Woods.
For example, if Woods finishes eighth at Doral, Mickelson will pass Woods by finishing ninth.
In world rankings math, Woods is losing a lot of rankings points from top finishes that are filtering fast out of the two-year rolling period. It will put him on a greased track out of the top 10 if he doesn't begin re-fueling points soon.