Mickelson back into top 10 in world after playoff loss at Northern Trust

By news services
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That monster putt that Bill Haas holed on Sunday to win a three-man playoff for the Northern Trust Open vaulted him up to 12th in the Official World Golf Ranking. And even though Phil Mickelson lost out in the playoff, he regained a spot in the top 10.

Haas, 29, carded a final-round 69 to earn a share of the lead with Mickelson and reigning PGA Championship Keegan Bradley, and he produced the Hollywood magic that earned him the win on the second playoff hole.

Mickelson was the only one of the trio to drive well at the 10th hole – the second in the playoff after all three parred No. 18 to begin sudden death. But despite landing in the rough, Haas finished the better, chipping onto the green and then sinking a massive putt that put the pressure on his rivals.

With neither Mickelson nor Bradley able to make a birdie of his own, Haas celebrated his fourth PGA Tour title -- and first since he won the 2011 season-ending Tour Championship in Atlanta.

"I never expected to make a 40-footer, and especially in that situation," Haas said. "That was a little bit of luck involved, but felt like I put a good roll on it, and it was meant to be, I guess."

Mickelson, who won a week ago at Pebble Beach, climbed up to ninth in the world ranking after just missing out on a second successive victory. Haas is up to a career-high 12th place after starting the week in 22nd, while Bradley rose to 19th place, dropping Tiger Woods down to No. 20. Bradley was ranked 26th heading to Riviera, and is in the top 20 for the first time in his career.

Even though both Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood took last week off, they again swapped spots in the ranking, with McIlroy up to second behind No. 1 Luke Donald and Westwood falling one spot to third. Martin Kaymer and Steve Stricker remain fourth and fifth, while Webb Simpson is still sixth, Jason Day is still seventh and Adam Scott is still eighth.

Mickelson's move up to ninth bumped previous No. 9 Charl Schwartzel down to 11th, while Dustin Johnson’s tie for fourth at Riviera was enough to keep him in 10th place.

The second 10 includes No. 11 Schwartzel, No. 12 Haas, No. 13 Graeme McDowell, No. 14 Matt Kuchar, No. 15 Nick Watney, No. 16 Sergio Garcia, No. 17 K.J. Choi, No. 18 Brandt Snedeker, No. 19 Bradley and No. 20 Woods.

For his victory in the Avantha Masters in India on Sunday, Jbe Kruger of South Africa moved up to 109th from his previous perch at No. 159.


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