Mickelson slump benefits McDowell

PHIL MICKELSON’S failure to shine in the Northern Trust Open has seen Graeme McDowell take his spot as the fourth best player on the planet.

McDowell was not in action at Riviera, opting to take the week off in preparation for the World Matchplay, but it proved to be a good week for the Ulsterman, who moved up one place on account of Mickelson misfiring.

Mickelson was put in the shade at Pacific Palisades by Aaron Baddeley and his win catapulted him a huge 151 places up the rankings to 73.

Mickelson has not won a tournament since last year’s Masters but he feels is game is progressing. “I feel better about my game right now than I ever have with one exception; I would like to win,” he said. “There’s something to be said about winning a tournament, getting some confidence, being in contention on Sunday and coming out on top that is nice going into Augusta.”

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