SAN DIEGO – Come Monday, Tiger Woods will fall to his worst world ranking in nearly two decades.
After withdrawing from the Farmers Insurance Open on Thursday, Woods is tentatively projected to drop to at least No. 59 in the latest world rankings, but that figure could be even lower based on what happens in this week’s tournaments. The official ranking comes out Monday.
Woods hasn’t been ranked that low since Oct. 13, 1996, when he was No. 61 in the world. He was ranked 75th after he won the first of his 79 PGA Tour titles, in Las Vegas, on Oct. 6 of that year.
His worst ranking since then was when he dropped as low as 58th, in the fall of 2011. He won his next start to jump back inside the top 25, the beginning of a rise that led to his return to world No. 1.
Woods was ranked in the top spot as recently as May 11, 2014.
Now, though, he will likely need a top-2 finish at the Honda Classic just to move into the top 50 and be eligible for the World Golf Championships event at Doral, according to Golf Channel’s world-rankings guru Alan Robison. The only other WGC for which Woods didn’t qualify was the 2011 HSBC Champions.
If Woods doesn’t add another tournament before now and the year’s first major, his only two starts will be at the Honda and Bay Hill. If he doesn’t make the cut in either of those events, then it’s likely he will drop outside the top 100, according to Robison.
Robison calculates that if Woods earns zero world-ranking points between now and the Masters, Woods would have 55.132 total points and an average points total of 1.3783 – a figure that would put him at world No. 112 this week.