Who won the first-ever Donald Ross Memorial Invitational boys individual title?

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Monday Recap: The Tiger Factor

Tiger Woods at the 2011 Arnold Palmer Invitational/provided by McClatchy News-Service

So Tiger Woods came up short to end his winless streak on the PGA Tour on Sunday at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

But Sunday's winner, Phil Mickelson, seems to desperately need Woods in contention.

All the chatter lately has been Woods plummeting world golf ranking, which has risen from the all-time worst No. 52 after the Frys.com Open last year, and his recent inability to close a tournament out.

Tiger missed six putts from inside 10 feet on Sunday that doomed his chances to finally breakthrough for his first PGA Tour victory since the 2009 BMW Championship.

But Mickelson has also struggled mightily with his form.

With Woods in contention, Lefty took his game to the next level, overcoming a large final round deficit and outplayed Woods en route to his 40th career PGA Tour victory.

And it's something that appears Mickelson needs for his golf game to return to the top level he once attained.

Television ratings are always higher when Tiger tees it up in a tournament, and are especially high when he's in contention. But Mickelson looked like he relished the chance to play alongside Woods, elevating his game for a TV audience that saw a 96 percent spike in the event's ratings over last year's (without Tiger searching for a victory).

Jessica Korda at the 2010 U.S. Women's Open/provided by McClatchy News-Service

Bradenton native Jessica Korda's first professional victory at the LPGA and Ladies European Tour event, the ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open, vaulted the 18-year-old to No. 82 in the women's golf world rankings.

Korda leaped 203 spots in the Rolex Rankings on Monday. She has an average of 1.60 points and was the biggest mover of anybody in the top 100.

Yani Tseng remains No. 1 for the 53rd straight week with a dominating average of 15.81 points. Former IMG Academies standout Paula Creamer also stayed at No. 5.

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