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Mickelson closes on No. 1 as Tiger continues to struggle

Phil Mickelson is closing in on No. 1.

The first step is to make up a one-shot deficit against Retief Goosen, the 36-hole leader Friday at the Bridgestone Invitational in Akron, Ohio.

Looking more inevitable is Mickelson finally supplanting Tiger Woods atop the world ranking.

Goosen turned bogey into birdie by chipping in from 25 yards off the green at No. 4, sending him on his way to a 4-under 66 that gave him a one-shot lead over Mickelson and Justin Leonard (66) going into the weekend at Firestone.

Woods continued to look as ordinary as ever. The seven-time champion at Firestone hit only three fairways and stumbled to a 2-over 72 - the first time he has ever had consecutive rounds over par at this tournament - that put him 13 shots out of the lead, and five players removed from last place.

Woods had no intention of speaking to reporters, instead walking to his car and driving away.

He has been No. 1 in the world since the week before the 2005 U.S. Open, but would lose his top ranking if Mickelson were to finish in fourth place alone and Woods - who is tied for 72nd - finishes out of the top 44.

"Obviously, it would be cool," Mickelson said. "It would be something I would love to do, being regarded as No. 1 according to the ranking. And I know that I've got a great opportunity this week. I know that I'm playing well, and this is my best opportunity."

Goosen was at 7-under 133 as he tries to win his first World Golf Championship. It doesn't figure to be easy, not so much because of Firestone, rather the number of players chasing him. Sixteen players were separated by four shots.

Injured Westwood withdraws

Lee Westwood withdrew Friday from the PGA Championship with an injury that even puts the Ryder Cup in doubt. Westwood, a runner-up at the Masters and the British Open this year, suffered a calf injury at the French Open the first week in July. It has caused problems with swelling in his right ankle. Westwood, No. 3 in the world, had a chance to go to No. 1 in the ranking with a victory this week at the Bridgestone Invitational. He had his ankle taped for the second round and sputtered around to a 76 before withdrawing.

Cejka leads at Turning Stone

Alex Cejka shot a 4-under 68 to take a one-stroke lead in the Turning Stone Resort Championship in Verona, N.Y. Chris Tidland and Rory Sabbatini are tied for second at 9 under.

Armour leads seniors with a 63

Tommy Armour III was the first player off the tee Friday. He'll be the last one off Saturday. Armour shot a 9-under 63 and has a one-stroke lead over Mark Calcavecchia and David Frost after one round of the 3M Championship in Blaine, Minn. - AP

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