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Mickelson gets best chance yet at No. 1

| June 15, 2010 9:00 PM

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP) - Masters champion Phil Mickelson has another chance to replace Tiger Woods at No. 1 in the world this week at the U.S. Open, and this might be his best chance yet.

Mickelson can reach No. 1 for the first time in his career by winning at Pebble Beach. But there are more scenarios in Mickelson's favor.

He would go to No. 1 by finishing runner-up as long as Woods finishes out of the top four. Mickelson could finish third at the U.S. Open and go to No. 1 if Woods were to finish out of the top 18.

If Woods misses the cut, Mickelson would need no worse than a two-way tie for third.

Woods has been No. 1 for the last five years.

• Cancer survivor cashes in: Erik Compton says he won a "Golden Ticket" when he qualified for the U.S. Open.

In reality, he knows he won that ticket long before that.

The 30-year-old golfer from Miami is a survivor of two heart transplants - the second coming only a little more than two years ago.

A two-time winner on the Canadian Tour in the early 2000s, Compton qualified for a spot at Pebble Beach earlier this month and will be among the 156 players vying for the national championship, starting Thursday.

• Teen caddy: Jeffrey Aronson lucked into a thrilling opportunity at the U.S. Open: caddie for a practice round.

Aronson, a 13-year-old junior golfer who just finished seventh grade back home in Los Angeles, was with his mother, Shelly, watching players on the putting green Sunday when amateur Russell Henley approached him to see if he would carry his bag for Monday's round at Pebble Beach.

"It's a great way to kick off the summer," Aronson said. "I'll do whatever he needs, get range balls and carry his bags. It's perfect."

That was a no-brainer for a kid who picked up his first clubs at age 2. Now, he's a first-time caddie.

"I did not imagine it at all," said Aronson, who is at the Open only Monday and Tuesday. "I'm so happy right now, living in the moment."

About a half-hour before Henley was set to tee off Monday, Aronson stood at the driving range soaking it all in when Davis Love III struck up a conversation.

Henley's few requests for Aronson included enjoying the scenery and experience just as he will while playing Pebble Beach for the first time. The University of Georgia star was named Southeastern Conference Golfer of the Year in his junior season this year.

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