The Americans are headed in different directions in the men’s and women’s games.
Cristie Kerr just regained the No. 1 ranking this week, ending Ai Miyazato’s run of nine consecutive weeks at the top of the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings.
Tiger Woods is in his last week at No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking, his run of 281 consecutive weeks at the top guaranteed to end next week with Lee Westwood or Martin Kaymer moving up to No. 1.
With Woods losing points this week, Westwood will have enough to be the new No. 1 next week, though Kaymer could pass them both and seize the top spot. Kaymer can rise to No. 1 by winning this week’s Andalucia Valderrama Masters or by finishing second on his own or by tying for second with one other player. Kaymer has won his last three starts.
Phil Mickelson’s also on a downward trend. He just dropped another spot in this week’s world rankings, moving down to No. 4. Kaymer moved up a spot to No. 3. Mickelson was No. 2 four weeks ago before being passed by Westwood.
The top four men in the world rankings are bunched within .33 points of each other. That makes for an intriguing WGC-HSBC Champions event next week. Ian Barker, who coordinates the Official World Golf Ranking, confirmed in an e-mail that Woods, Westwood, Kaymer and Mickelson will all have a chance to claim the No. 1 ranking at the HSBC Champions with all four players scheduled to play.