Phil Mickelson, despite a Phil-being-Phil, "crazy s**t" moment that cost him two strokes and the win in Abu Dhabi, will enter this week’s PGA Tour event at Torrey Pines as the fourth-best player in the world.
Mickelson shared second place with fellow rules miscreant, Rory McIlroy, just one shot behind Pablo Larrazabal at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship. Everybody’s favorite southpaw will take on Tiger Woods and the rest of the Farmers Insurance Open field after leapfrogging reigning U.S. Open champion Justin Rose in the world rankings. Small comfort, for sure, after Rose sent Lefty to his record sixth U.S. Open runner-up finish in June.
Rose, sidelined until at least mid-February with tendinitis in his right shoulder, dropped to fifth place in the rankings, while Jason Day, who will compete in San Diego this week, made his way back into the top 10. Day overtook Sergio Garcia, who tied for 19th in Abu Dhabi after enduring his own rules kerfuffle, while McIlroy remained just behind Zach Johnson in the rankings at No. 7.
Thanks to his third European Tour win, Larrazabal jumped from 103rd to 53rd place. Patrick Reed, who earned his second PGA Tour W with a two-shot victory over Ryan Palmer at last week’s Humana Challenge (his previous triumph came at last year’s Wyndham Championship), moved up 28 slots to No. 41.
Woods, idle as Rory and Phil were emulating Brandel Chamblee’s favorite rules scofflaw in the Emirates, remained in the top spot that he has owned since reclaiming it last March. The Farmers defending champ will bring his No. 1 status to a course where he has recorded nine wins -- eight in the regular season and one major, the 2008 U.S. Open, the most recent of Woods’ 14 grand slam event victories.