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Mickelson now world no. 3 as Woods falls to 7th
April 4, 2011

Defending Masters champion Phil Mickelson will head back to Augusta as the man to beat after sealing a superb victory at the Shell Houston Open. He finished the tournament at Redstone Golf Club Tournament Course, Humble, Texas with closing rounds of 63 and 65, 16 under par, which included a run of five birdies from the ninth on the last day, to finish three clear of fellow Americans Chris Kirk and Scott Verplank. Kirk signed for a 67 to earn his first top-two finish on the PGA Tour, and Verplank finished with 68.

The victory takes Mickelson 3 places up the Official World Golf Ranking to 3rd, and puts him above Tiger Woods - who did not play in Houston and has now fallen to world no. 7 - for the first time since the week before the 1997 Masters, which Woods won for his first major championship.

The win also represents other milestones for Mickelson. It was his 39th PGA Tour title, putting him level in ninth place on the all-time career list with Tom Watson and Cary Middlecoff. It was his first victory since turning 40 in June 2010, and means that he has now won at least one PGA tournament every season for the last eight years, the longest streak of any active player.

A birdie at the second extra hole saw David Horsey overcome Rhys Davies and Jaco Van Zyl in a three-man play-off to win the Trophée Hassan II in Agadir, Morocco. Defending champion Davies and England’s Horsey, who had a hole in one at the second, exchanged blows all day at the top of the leaderboard. With one to play, Horsey was one ahead of the Davies and two clear of Van Zyl, but took six in total, while Davies took five to Van Zyl's four. The win takes Horsey to world number 80, a jump of 35 positions.

This week's other winners were Michiel Bothma at the Barclays Kenya Open on the Challenge Tour and Andrew Tschudin at the Twayair Open on the Korean Golf Tour.


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