Woods drops out of top 20 in world rankings for first time since early 1997

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By remaining inactive for so long due to his left leg injuries, Tiger Woods' world ranking is the lowest it's been in 14 years.
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Series: PGA Tour

Published: Monday, July 25, 2011 | 12:51 p.m.

Tiger Woods is out of the world's top 20 for the first time since January 1997.

Woods, who fell to 20th place last week, is down to 21st in the current rankings as he continues to nurse his left leg injuries. He is, according to some sources, expected to announce later this week that he is returning to action at the upcoming WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio.


Luke Donald is in his ninth week at the top of the charts.



1. Luke Donald


2. Lee Westwood


3. Martin Kaymer


4. Rory McIlroy


5. Steve Stricker


6. Phil Mickelson


7. Dustin Johnson


8. Jason Day


9. Matt Kuchar


10. Nick Watney


Woods held the No. 1 spot for more than 11 years in 10 different spells. He announced last week on his website that he will not have longtime caddie Steve Williams by his side when he returns.

Meanwhile, Sergio Garcia has earned a place in the WGC-Bridgestone by keeping his place in the game's top 50. Back to form with two successive top-10 finishes in majors and a playoff defeat in Germany in between, Garcia is 48th going into this week's Greenbrier Classic in West Virginia.

Sean O’Hair climbed up to No. 60, a jump of 54 places, after winning the RBC Canadian Open, and Alex Noren's runaway win at the Nordea Masters in Sweden moved him up from 92nd to 70th. Noren already had a spot in the Bridgestone thanks to his victory in the Saab Wales Open last month.

There was very little movement in the top 10 last week, as the top seven spots stayed unchanged. They remain Luke Donald at No. 1, followed by No. 2 Lee Westwood, No. 3 Martin Kaymer, No. 4 Rory McIlroy, No. 5 Steve Stricker, No. 6 Phil Mickelson and No. 7 Dustin Johnson.

Jason Day climbed from ninth up into eighth place, while Matt Kuchar dropped from eighth down to 10th place. Masters champion Charl Schwartzel returned to the top 10, moving from 12th into ninth place as former No. 10 Nick Watney dropped down to 11th place.

After Watney, the second 10 includes No. 12 Graeme McDowell, No. 13. Bubba Watson, No. 14 K.J. Choi, No. 15 Paul Casey, No. 16 Ian Poulter, No. 17 Adam Scott, No. 18 Robert Karlsson, No. 19 Hunter Mahan and No. 20 Retief Goosen.

The biggest move of the week belonged to O’Hair, who was too happy to end a miserable slump in Canada, where he tapped in for bogey on the first playoff hole Sunday, and then watched Kris Blanks lip out his bogey putt from just over five feet to earn the victory.

It was the fourth PGA Tour win for O’Hair, but his first since 2009 and his first top-15 during a season in which he had missed 10 of 17 cuts.

“I m sorry he missed the putt, but the fact I won knowing he missed it was just overwhelming,” the 29-year-old O’Hair said. “It just was overwhelming.”

That could also describe O’Hair’s slump heading into this week. Coming off a frustratingly close missed cut at the British Open, and in the midst of his worst season on the PGA Tour, O’Hair “played horrific” in Wednesday’s pro-am.

“Wednesday night was my worst point of the whole year,” O’Hair said. “I was lost on Wednesday. To be sitting here, I just really appreciate this win.”

O’Hair started three shots off the lead before shooting 68 to get into a playoff with Blanks (70) at 4-under 276. It was the second-highest winning total on the PGA Tour this season, and the first non-major without a bogey-free round since 2008.

Only eight players finished under par on the tree-lined Shaugnessy Golf and Country Club, so it was perhaps fitting it was won with a bogey. After a tough week, O’Hair didn’t mind seeing Blanks miss, but felt his pain.

“He and I were kind of in a similar situation. We haven’t been playing well,” said O’Hair, whose $936,000 win was almost triple his 2011 earnings, and vaulted him 104 places in the FedExCup playoff standings to 43rd. “You root for guys like Kris. I was rooting for (John) Daly, as well.”



I find this new Top 20 listing quite refreshing w/o a Tiger at the top spot. I was never a big Tiger fan, but was amazed by his display of talent when he was on top of his game. Arrogance and Ego and Narccissm has put the Tiger where he belongs right now. Let us hope that this fall from the top is a learning to be humble lesson in life for him....probably won't be.