Woods secures biggest world ranking leap in five years

Fatiha Betscher

Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

It was easily the biggest jump of any player in the over 8,000 players listed on the men’s Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR) website.

Tiger Woods’ share of 45th place in Sunday’s concluding Genesis Invitational has seen him jump 309 places to be the new World No. 985.

The effort was Woods’ best rankings jump since late 2017 at the Hero World Challenge when his share of ninth saw him jump 531 places from the then No. 1199th ranked player at the start of the event to the World No. 668th ranked golfer following the Bahamas tournament.

You could argue it’s not such a big deal but for a player who was competing last week in just a second OWGR counting event since last July, but it’s a huge leap for Woods who holds the record as being World No. 1 for a total of 683 weeks, and that’s 352 weeks more than Greg Norman who lies second on the World No. 1 table.

Really, there was only way Woods could go on the OWGRs this week and that was upwards, and whether he will ever return to the pinnacle of the rankings is probably highly unlikely.

However, what we have learned from Woods appearance last week in suburban Santa Monica is that he will be seen again inside the ropes this year with confirmation following his closing round that he’s hopeful of playing the four 2023 majors and a ‘sprinkle’ of other events.

“My intent last year was to play in all four majors, I got three of the four so hopefully this year I can get all four and maybe sprinkle in a few here and there,” said Woods.

“But that’s it for the rest of my career. I know that and I understand that. That’s just my reality”.

And this despite his ‘streak’, as he refers to it, of now having contested 16 Genesis Invitational tournaments and is yet to taste success, making it still the longest running event Woods has contested without the ‘W’.

“It was progress, but obviously I didn’t win. My streak continues here at Riv”, he said.

“So, no, I felt like the first couple days I left certainly a lot of shots out there with some putts, especially Friday when I was blocking everything. Yesterday (Saturday) was better.

“Still wish I could have gotten within a touch of the leaders, but today they’re running away with it. Even with a good round yesterday I wouldn’t have been in touch today but overall, it’s a huge success for our foundation and for everyone here involved.

“The amount of people that came out and supported this event was off the charts. I think it’s a good win all around”.

And in talking about Woods being again inside the competition ropes, one thing he did achieve this past week and that is bring TV viewers back to watching PGA Tour coverage because frankly since the start of the new 2022/23 wraparound season tuning-in late at night, and especially for those UK, Irish and European residents, for any lengthy time to the PGA Tour has been uninspiring given the poor depth of fields competing over the course of the prior 15 FedEx Cup counting events.

Woods again single-handedly had fans glued to the ‘box’ well into the wee hours for the full four rounds of competition.

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