Hot This Week? Phil Mickelson, Natalie Gulbis, Corey Pavin

Wednesday February 15th, 2012
Phil Mickelson earned his 40th career victory.
Robert Beck / SI

HOT

1. Phil. Love him or not, there’s no denying golf is a lot more interesting when he’s playing well.

2. Natalie Gulbis. For reasons that are self-explanatory.

3. Corey Pavin. That lefty escape is the early favorite for shot of the year.

4. Riviera. Maybe the most elegant course the Tour visits all year.

5. Rory McIlroy. Another week, another top-5 finish.

NOT

1. Rory. Another week, another top-5 finish. Going out in 38 is not exactly a Sunday charge.

2. Tiger. In his career he has elicited a lot of emotions, but pity is a relatively new one.

3. Westy. After yet another near-miss, lowlighted by ghastly work on the greens, he was in such a snit he refused to speak with reporters. Uh-oh, looks like mum is gonna have to ring him up again.

4. LPGA nerves. In a wild finish in Australia, So Yeon Ryu, Hee Kyung Seo and Brittany Lincicome all missed short putts on the 72nd hole or in sudden death, allowing Jessica Korda to steal the victory. That wasn’t the denouement that Royal Melbourne deserved.

5. Ryan Moore. A week ago he was 65th in the World Ranking, holding down the last spot in the Match Play field (since Phil won’t be playing). Now, having fallen to 67th, Moore’s out.

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