Tiger Woods retained his position as world number one on Sunday, despite suffering his worst tournament finish as a professional at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
With Woods finishing joint 78th in the 80-man field after a closing round of 77, Phil Mickelson knew he needed to finish fourth or better to move top of the world rankings. The US Masters champion was joint 10th overnight and four shots off the lead, but endured a nightmare front nine of 41 to end his chances of ending Woods' five-year reign.
Mickelson finished with an eight over 78 in a tie for 46th as Hunter Mahan triumphed by two strokes on 12 under following a final round 64 at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio.
It meant Woods' stretch as world number one, which has run for 269 weeks since June 2005, is to continue until at least the USPGA Championship at Whistling Straits, Wisconsin.
After finding a greenside bunker in two on the par-five second, Mickelson surprisingly thinned his recovery well over the green to run up a bogey six.
Worse was to come with a hat-trick of bogeys from the sixth followed by a double bogey six on the ninth, while yet more dropped shots on the 12th and 13th left Mickelson eight over par for the day and with a three over total of 283.
Earlier in the day, Woods had carded three birdies, six bogeys and two double bogeys to finish 18 over par at Firestone, a venue where he had won on his previous four visits and a US Tour record seven times in all.
That set an unwanted record for the world number one's highest 72-hole score in relation to par, while his total of 298 was also his highest score through four rounds of his PGA Tour career.
Woods' previous worst finish as a professional in an event in which he played four rounds was a tie for 60th at the 1996 Greater Milwaukee Open, his professional debut.
Woods is currently outside the automatic qualifying places for the US Ryder Cup team with just one counting event remaining.