Tiger Woods has dropped out of the world’s top-100 golf ranking for the first time in nearly two decades.
Woods, who has won 14 majors, is at No. 104 in the latest Official World Golf Ranking released Monday. It’s his first week outside the top-100 since Sept. 28, 1996, the week before Woods’ first professional win in Las Vegas. He jumped to 75th by winning the Las Vegas Invitational as a 20-year-old for the first of his 79 PGA Tour victories.
Woods current ranking isn’t a surprise to anyone who follows professional golf. The 39-year-old has played very little golf as he has struggled with injuries, his game and his confidence during the past two years. He hasn’t played since withdrawing from the Farmer’s Insurance tournament at Torrey Pines in February. The following week, Woods announced he was taking an indefinite break from competitive golf, saying his game is “unacceptable for tournament play.”
Woods withdrew from the Farmer’s Insurance tournament after just 12 holes and he had missed the cut at the Phoenix Open – which included a second-round score of 82, the worst round of his career – the previous week. The injuries and poor performances prompted Woods to take a break.
“I need a lot of work on my game and to spend time with people that are important to me,” Woods said on his website. “I enter a tournament to compete at the highest level. When I think I’m ready, I’ll be back.”
The question is when will Woods return?
The Masters, the first major of the year, begins April 9. Woods has won that tournament four times, but his last win at Augusta occurred in 2005. Woods last tournament win came at the Bridgestone Invitational in 2013, but he has rarely challenged in any of the four majors in recent years.
GolfWorld’s Tim Rosaforte predicts that Woods will compete at the Masters and added that his game has improved while playing at his home course in Florida.