Thursday, November 4, 2010

Tiger Woods no longer the world’s top golfer

It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to golf fans around the world that American ace Tiger Woods is no longer ranked as the top golfer on the planet. It didn’t come as a shock to Woods himself as he could see it coming based on his mediocre play of late. What it does represent though is a new era in golf, not at least for all of you golf betting fanatics out there. 

Woods has had quite a few issues to deal with over the past two or three years starting with knee problems in 2008. After that came the infamous car crash which took place just outside of his home late one night, which was then followed by the public details of his infidelity and finally ending in a divorce from his Swedish wife. 

It’ll be a new era in the world of golf because Woods had been the top-ranked golfer for the previous 281 weeks. He has also held the number-one ranking for an overall total of 623 weeks during his career. Woods has shattered the previous record of 331 weeks which was held by Greg Norman. Some of the game’s best players have never earned the top ranking though as the Official World Golf Ranking system has only been in use for the past 24 years. This means top golfers such as Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus were never ranked. 

Most golf fans likely thought that Phil Mickelson would eventually take over the top spot from Woods, especially after he won the Masters tournament earlier this year, but his game has slipped since then and he hasn’t won another tournament since. 

The top golfer, this week anyway, is Lee Westwood of England. Westwood has always been a top contender when it comes to winning major tournaments, but he hasn’t actually managed to win one yet. His reign as the top golfer in the world could very well be short lived as the HSBC Champions tournament takes place this week in Shanghai, China. 

The tournament will feature Mickelson, Westwood, Woods, and 25-year-old Martin Kaymer of Germany, who captured this year’s PGA Championship. Either one of them could take the top spot after the event, including Woods, as the rankings are that close. 

With Woods being knocked out of the top spot, there isn’t really anybody on the PGA Tour who can be considered to be a clear favourite to replace him for a lengthy period of time. There are a only a few exciting youngsters and pros who seem to have the potential to do it at the moment, so it’ll be interesting to see if Woods has what it takes to reclaim his number one ranking in the near future.

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