Jay Busbee

Paul Casey wins Volvo, storms up rankings list

Jay Busbee
Devil Ball Golf

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All of a sudden, the Official World Golf Rankings are getting a mite crowded up top.

Thanks to a victory in the Volvo Golf Classic in Bahrain, Paul Casey has leaped up from ninth to sixth in the world rankings. Phil Mickelson, who lost on the final hole of the Farmers Insurance Open to Bubba Watson, nonetheless edged up two spots from sixth to fourth. As UPI notes, the second-place finish allowed him to push Graeme McDowell down a notch. The top three spots remain unchanged, with Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer and Tiger Woods staying put.

What does this mean? A couple things. First, the rankings are now as volatile as Top-40 pop charts, with today's celebrity being tomorrow's forgotten man, and vice versa. Second, Woods and Mickelson are on precarious ground indeed. Since the Official World Golf Rankings use a rolling two-year tabulation, and since most of Woods' and Mickelson's significant performances are at the far end of that two-year spectrum, Tiger and Phil are going to have to step up their games considerably or risk losing even more ground.

Casey, for his part, secured a one-stroke victory over Peter Hanson and Miguel Angel Jimenez by dropping a five-foot par putt on the 18th at Royal Golf Club. Casey has traditionally had trouble closing in tight situations -- he'd gone 20 months without a win before Sunday -- but if he's able to put himself in the mix along with the rest of the Euros, it's going to be even trickier for Woods and Mickelson to retain their elite status.

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