Yep, the Englishman, who has claimed only one PGA Tour event in the last 12 years, could jump past Woods and Mickelson both if a few things fall into place at the Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone. Of course, Phil still has a great shot at passing up Tiger and becoming the top-ranked golfer in the world for the first time in his career.
Here are the possible scenarios needed for Woods to drop, via PGATour.com:
— A Mickelson win, and he's atop, no matter where Tiger finishes at Firestone.
— A Westwood win, and Tiger finishing lower than a two-way tie for second place.
— If Phil finishes fourth (or better), he could take over No. 1 if Tiger finishes outside the top 37, something he's never done in his career at the Akron, Ohio course, and Westwood would need to finish third place or lower.
— If Westwood finishes solo second, he could become No. 1 in the world if Mickelson doesn't win and Tiger finishes out of the top nine.
OK, got all that? There are a ton of opportunities for these guys to take over Tiger's reign, but the problem is, this is one of Tiger's most successful golf courses, and for him to finish even out of the top four would be a huge, huge surprise.
Another interesting wrinkle? Tiger and Lee will be paired together the first two days, so any move one or the other makes will be up close and personal for the other.