Vijay jumps to No. 1

Tuesday March 22nd, 2005

Golf Power Rankings
RankLW Player
A poor putt at the Honda Classic and a 7-iron into the water at Bay Hill cost Vijay a chance at two consecutive wins. Yeah, you may take the half-empty approach and say he's coming up small when it counts (our stance last week). But after another near-win, Vijay has us changing our tune. Singh's back on his game and peaking at the right time.
Mickelson sat out last week but returns for The Players Championship. Despite his third-place finish last year, Sawgrass hasn't always been kind to him. He's never won in 11 starts, has just two top-10 finishes and has missed the cut four times. A win would be nice for Phil, but he'll likely be satisfied with a solid showing two weeks away from his Masters defense.
For the first time in 22 Tour events, Tiger failed to break 70 in at least one of his four rounds. He spent four frustrating days at Bay Hill, a course he normally owns, and consequently lost his No. 1 world ranking to Vijay again. "It's one of those weeks that happens," Woods said. "I hit the ball well in spurts. I just didn't hit it consistently."
Not that he needed any reminder, but Ernie found out the Tour competition is a little tougher than the Euro variety. Having won two straight overseas, Els finished tied for 23rd at Bay Hill (same position as Tiger). A second-round 77 (thanks to a three-putt on the par-5 12th) put Ernie out of contention, but he did produce a decent weekend (69-70).
First, the bad news: Two tee shots hit out-of-bounds during an opening-round 78 that left him thinking about withdrawing. Then the good news: Three solid rounds after that (67-68-70) that left him feeling good upon leaving Bay Hill. He even found a positive about his terrible start. "I knew I could play better than that," Goosen said. "So I had to come and try to prove myself a little bit."
Annika Sorenstam
Four wins in her last four starts has Annika thinking one thing this week going into the LPGA's first major, the Kraft Nabisco Championship: Grand Slam. "I think it's possible to win all four majors in one year," she said. "It's never been done, but I set myself high targets. I've had a great start to the season and this is certainly a great build-up for a major."
Toms took the week off after recording top-10 finishes in each of his last four starts (including his Match Play win). If he winds up in the top 10 after this weekend, it might be a miracle. In 12 starts at Sawgrass, he's made the cut just four times, never finishing better than a tie for 12th.
Harrington also took the week off after winning the Honda Classic. Unlike Toms, Padraig loves the TPC's stadium course at Sawgrass. He's finished second there the last two years, including a 66 in his last competitive round there in the final round of the 2004 Players Championship.
He has yet to reach the winner's circle this year, but he's been in contention quite a bit: Four top-10 finishes, including two runner-up spots. Ogilvie credits his ability to avoid the really horrible numbers. "When I hit a poor shot, it's not killing me," he said. "I'm not making a double-bogey. I'm making a bogey or I'm saving a par."
Outside of a third-round 80 at the Honda Classic and a first-round 76 at Bay Hill, Campbell has been among the hottest golfers you haven't heard about, with three top-10 finishes in his last four starts. Had he shot 70 instead of the aforementioned 80, he would have finished in a tie for 5th at the Honda.
Dropped out: Hale Irwin, Adam Scott
Weekly Rankings: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9

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