World number two Phil Mickelson believes he will eventually overtake Tiger Woods at the top of the rankings, despite missing the opportunity at the weekend.
With Woods finishing a woeful 18 over par at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational, the left-hander could have overhauled his compatriot but blew his chance with a disappointing final round.
However, he has another chance this week with the final major of the year – the US PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which he is priced at 14/1 to win.
Victory will make Mickelson number one, while second will do if Woods – 78th out of 80 at the weekend – is outside the top three.
“It will eventually happen, I believe,” said Mickelson, who has been second for a record 258 weeks.
Woods will meet Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin later this week as the likelihood of him playing at Celtic Manor in October has decreased significantly.
Even a good performance at the US PGA – Woods has drifted to 16/1 to win – may not be enough to persuade the 14-time major winner to play in Wales.
America’s Ryder Cup qualifying race ends at Whistling Straits on Sunday, with Woods 10th on the table. Only the leading eight, however, earn automatic places.
Asked if he wanted to play in the Ryder Cup, Woods said after the WGC Bridgestone Invitational: “Not playing like this, definitely not, not playing like this.”
“I mean, I wouldn’t help the team if I’m playing like this. No-one would help the team if they’re shooting 18 over par.”
How important is Woods to the USA’s chances? They are 15/8 to win. See the full Ryder Cup Betting Odds market.