After lapping fields for so long, Tiger Woods now finds himself leaking oil in the slow lane in the world rankings game.
After providing stability to the top of the OWGR for most of the last dozen years, Woods is losing points like no other player in the two-year rolling period that measures performance. That’s making the rankings as volatile as they’ve ever been.
The shakeups possible this weekend are dizzying.
It’s possible three players will pass Woods in Sunday night’s newest rankings, bumping Woods down to No. 6 in the world, according to figures provided by the European Tour OWGR administrators. These projections are based on strength of fields remaining the same in Thursday’s start of play in Phoenix and Qatar.
If Phil Mickelson wins the Waste Management Phoenix Open, Steve Stricker wins the Commercialbank Qatar Masters and Paul Casey finishes second at the Qatar Masters, here’s your new world rankings:
1. Lee Westwood
2. Martin Kaymer
3. Phil Mickelson
4. Steve Stricker
5. Paul Casey
6. Tiger Woods
Mickelson can pass Woods by finishing first, second or solo third in Phoenix. Casey passes Woods finishing first or second at Qatar.
If Mickelson passes Woods, it will mark the first time he’s ranked ahead of Woods in the OWGR since April 6, 1997.
It’s also possible that Kaymer passes Westwood to become the 14th different player to hold the No. 1 ranking since the Official World Golf Ranking was created in 1986. Kaymer moves to the top if he wins the Qatar Masters and Westwood finishes lower than second. Kaymer can also ascend if he finishes second and Westwood finishes outside the top 22.