Tiger Woods, who hasn’t played competitive golf since early February due to injury to his game and health, is dropping outside of the top 100 in the world rankings for the first time since he entered it after capturing his maiden victory on the PGA Tour in 1996. Yep, it’s been almost 20 years that the former world no. 1 was ranked inside the top 100 golfers on the planet.
Woods, who plummeted to no. 96 this week, will plunge ever further to a projected 102nd when the new rankings are published on Monday.
Woods was 433rd in the world when he turned professional in September 1996. He surged to world no. 75 after snagging his first victory at the 1996 Last Vegas Invitational. He then became the best golfer on the planet for the first time after finishing 19th at the 1997 U.S. Open. The 14-time major champion has spent 683 weeks at the top of the world rankings.
The last time Woods teed it up in competition was cut short after he withdrew due to stiffness in his bank that occurred following a long fog delay in the first round of the Farmers Insurance Open during the first week of February. Woods only played 11 holes before he headed for the parking lot.
A week prior, Woods opened his 2015 season by posting scores of 82-73 to miss the cut at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
Yep, Tiger has played a total of 44 holes in tournament golf so far in 2015. Now, the question is, will he played in this season’s first major, the Masters, which kicks off in just over a week.
Woods didn’t sign up to play in this week’s Shell Houston Open — which some speculated that he would as a warm-up if he were planning to tee it up at Augusta National.
If Woods is indeed recovering from the chipping yips, then Augusta National — with his tightly-mown fairways and perfectly-cut fast greens that sit right on the edge of fairness — would be a mighty challenge to get around without producing some embarrassing shots.
Tick, tock. Yes, Masters week starts in a week from Monday! As for whether Tiger will show, he technically has until his tee time Thursday, April 9th to decide since the Masters is invite-only.