Tiger Woods has dropped out of the top 50 in the world rankings for the first time in almost 15 years.
When the new rankings are published tomorrow, Tiger’s streak of 778 consecutive weeks inside the top 50 will end. It’ll be his lowest rank since October 13, 1996, when he was No. 61. Mind you, he only turned pro in late August of that year.
According to the AP, when Louis Oosthuizen finished in a three-way tie for fifth at the Dunhill Links Championship, it was guaranteed Tiger would fall out of the top 50.
Whew, good thing this happened after the cut-off date for his tournament in December; otherwise he may not have been eligible!
Of course, Tiger hasn’t played since missing the cut at the PGA Championship in August because he didn’t qualify for the playoffs. He returns to competition at the Frys.com Open, a PGA Tour Fall Series event, this week in northern California. I’m intrigued with how he’ll play in a tournament with a weaker-than-usual field for him. Tiger usually keeps a limited schedule (unless there’s an appearance fee overseas) that includes World Golf Championships, the majors (obviously) and the Tour’s marquee regular events, like Memorial and Quail Hollow.
On the upside, Tiger shot a course-record 62 at his new home course Medalist GC on Friday, including a 29 on the back nine. What was he playing in? The member-guest? Or the club championship? Not even. According to Tim Rosaforte’s report, it was just a kicks and giggles round. But he had 10 birdies!
Tiger’s 62 bested David Abell’s record by a shot, according to a source, but I couldn’t confirm that. Which contradicts what most reports say — that it was previously 64 shared by ten people, including Steve Marino, Jesper Parnevik and Greg Norman. (Throw in John Cook and you’d have a super awkward foursome.)
Wake me when he does that in a competitive round.
As Rosaforte noted, “While skeptics were quick to point out the lack of pressure on Woods, there is a precedent in his favor. In 1997, he shot 59 at Isleworth and followed up with the first of 14 majors at the Masters.”
Is the Frys.com Open the latest fifth major??
All that said, I’ll definitely be tuning in the telecast on Thursday and Friday to watch Tiger’s every move (but I’m not flying across the country for Tiger this time — I pledged I wasn’t going to let him run my life anymore! Kidding. Kinda…).