ON TOP OF THE WORLD ' ALMOST: Phil Mickelson claimed his 36th career PGA Tour title, defeating Nick Watney by one stroke to win the WGC-CA Championship. It was Mickelsons first WGC title and put him within .52 points of Tiger Woods for No. 1 on the Official World Golf Ranking.
Mickelson beat back dehydration and a game Watney for the win. Forget about Tiger vs. Sergio or Tiger vs. Vijay or Tiger vs. Ernie or Tiger vs. Kim or Tiger vs. Mothra. The only rivalry we want to see is Tiger vs. Phil. And we want to see it in three weeks at Augusta.
THOUGHTS?: Tiger Woods tied for ninth in his first stroke-play event since winning the 2008 U.S. Open. Woods struck the ball well, but, by his account, missed 18 putts on the lip or edge of the hole.
Tiger still has one tournament (Bay Hill) and a couple of weeks of practice to work out the kinks before the Masters. And if he straightens it all out, the only thing that will keep him from a fifth green jacket is a masterful Mickelson.
TMI: Henrik Stenson stripped down to his underwear on the third hole Thursday at the WGC-CA Championship to hit a shot out of the muddy water.
The man doesn't own a rain suit? I'll one day forget that he bogeyed that hole, but I'll never get that image out of my head. It's like I'm in 'A Clockwork Orange' and my eyes are being forced open, and I can't close them no matter how much I fight it. Please make it stop. I'll be good.
YOU HAD YOUR CHANCE: Sergio Garcia had an opportunity to overtake Woods for No. 1 in the world. He needed to win at Doral and have Woods finish 27th or worse. Tiger tied for ninth. Sergio tied for 31st.
I had the privilege to sit in on an Arnold Palmer interview this past week. Palmer said that when he first met Tiger Woods as a kid, he knew he had it in him ' the focus and drive ' to be a major champion and the best player in the world. Looking at Sergio Garcia ' a 29-year-old Sergio Garcia ' he said he doesn't see any of that.
THINGS LOOKING UP?: Retief Goosen opened in 65 to earn a share of the first-round lead at Doral. He then proceeded to shoot 76-73-76 to tie for 66th.
People wondered if Mickelson would ever recover from his meltdown at Winged Foot. But, even though he hasnt won a major since then, he does have seven Tour victories, including a Players Championship. Goosen, on the other hand, has only one Tour win since his 2005 U.S. Open Chernobyl, when he led by three entering the final round and shot 81.
MOVING ON: It was announced this past week that Michelle Wie was parting ways with the William Morris Agency. No word on with whom she'll officially sign next, but the odds greatly favor International Management Group (IMG).
It's Spring time for Wie, time to part ways with all the old and make way for a new Michelle. The big question is: With whom does she replace her dad?
HOPE FOR THE BEST: GolfChannel.com senior writer Rex Hoggard reported that John Daly is getting his game and body in shape for a possible return to the European Tour in late April.
Daly's agent said the big guy, who is serving a six month PGA Tour suspension, has lost 'about 40 pounds' and should be '100 percent' recovered (rib injury) by his return. It all sounds positive. Unfortunately, positive sticks to Daly like one of those sticky wall crawlers you get out of a cereal box.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Michael Bradley won the PGA Tour's opposite field Puerto Rico Open. ...Dan Forsman defeated Don Pooley on the first extra hole at the AT&T Champions Classic. ... Tiger Woods' Chevron World Challenge moved up two weeks to the date right after Thanksgiving. ...Travel + Leisure Golf has printed its final issue.
Bradley made an 11-foot birdie putt on the last and then watched as his 21-year-old playing opponent, Jason Day, missed a 7-footer to force a playoff. It was the 42-year-old's third Tour title, and first since, coincidentally, the Doral-Ryder Open in 1998. ... It was Forsmans first senior victory and kept him perfect in playoffs (2-0 in his PGA Tour career). ... Whatever Tiger wants, Tiger gets. ... Another economic casualty.