PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. – As the PGA Tour basks in the afterglow of the Phil Mickelson-Tiger Woods final-round pairing at Pebble Beach, the rank-and-file were singing a different tune Tuesday on the range at Riviera Country Club, site of this week’s Northern Trust Open.
Tour players wanted to know how Mickelson, after a dominating performance against a full field last week in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, could have received fewer world-ranking points than Woods earned for winning an 18-man exhibition at the Chevron World Challenge in December.
When Woods beat Zach Johnson by a stroke at the Chevron, which is an unofficial event, he earned 44 world-ranking points and moved from 52nd in the world to 21st in the Official World Golf Ranking.
Mickelson, with his two-shot margin against Charlie Wi at Pebble Beach, earned only 38 points. That also was 10 less than the 48 points that Rafael Cabrera-Bello gained for winning the Omega Dubai Desert Classic and the same amount that Lee Westwood garnered for winning the Nedbank Golf Challenge, a 12-man exhibition event in South Africa in December.
Mickelson moved up only six spots in the rankings, to No. 11, while Cabrera-Bello jumped 58 spots, to No. 60, after his Dubai victory.
Discrepancies such as these give many players heartburn when the world rankings are used to determine who gets spots in the majors and other big events.