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Woods still No 1 for now

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Last week Tiger Woods lost his swing coach. If the stars continue to fall into place for Phil Mickelson, and if the game’s top star continues to nurse an ailing neck, he may soon lose his top ranking as well.

According to Ian Barker, an official with the World Golf Ranking, Mickelson needs to earn at least 38 points at next week’s Colonial to pass Woods atop the ranking. Currently Woods, who announced last week he is indefinitely sidelined with an inflamed facet joint in his neck, holds a 1.26 points advantage over Mickelson, who plans to play next week in Texas and may play next month’s Memorial.

The longer Woods is on the DL, however, the more likely it seems Lefty will climb to the top spot in the ranking for the first time in his career.

“Every week (Woods) doesn’t play he becomes more venerable,” Barker said.

To prove his point Barker explained that Woods has earned 26 World Ranking points this year, while Mickelson has collected 170 points. Those points are not subject to the system’s normal “decaying process” for 13 weeks, which gives Mickelson an advantage.

As ranking debates go the OWGR isn’t as contentious, although it might be just as confusing, as the BCS, but it will certainly make the rehabilitation process more interesting.