PGA Tour 2012: Can Tiger Woods Regain His World No.1 Ranking?

Daniel ZhuContributor IFebruary 8, 2012

Tiger Woods 2008 U.S. Open
Tiger Woods 2008 U.S. OpenDonald Miralle/Getty Images

The golfing world still remembers Tiger Woods in his Sunday red polo, black pants and black cap. We all remember him holing huge putts and displaying his "Tiger" magic throughout his career. Yes, we definitely still remember the Tiger Woods of old.

But what about the Tiger Woods now?

Well, after the car crash in Nov. 2009 and the scandal that unfolded afterwards, after a change in his caddie and coach, and after a completely new swing change, Woods is finally on the right track.

With a win at last year's Chevron World Challenge and a solid third-place finish at Abu Dhabi just a few weeks ago, Woods looks close to being back to his old form. The former world No. 1, who dipped below 50th in the rankings last year, is currently ranked 18th in the world.

So now, with some positives to build upon, can Tiger keep his momentum going and retain his world No.1 ranking?

There is definitely a high possibility that he will, especially if he can win a few more times.

Woods will make his PGA Tour debut at this week's AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, and this is certainly a venue where you'd expect him to do well, if not win.

Of course, another top-five finish this week wouldn't be too bad for the new Woods and would help boost his confidence some more.

With a few more top-five finishes, Woods could move back into the top-10 of the world rankings again and be a potential threat to those sitting at the top. A couple of wins could really bring Woods into the picture for world No.1.

As of now, Woods has a pretty clear path to reclaiming his throne at the top of the golfing world, especially if Luke Donald doesn't start winning.

Players like Lee Westwood and Rory McIlroy are not really significant obstacles in Woods' way now that he is healthy and has regained some of his old form. Besides, when Tiger Woods gets on a roll, the odds of players—even the best players—stopping him are quite low.

If that ever happens, you can expect him to be a more significant factor at tournaments again. You can expect him to make all the putts that seem to always lip out for him these days. You can also expect that he'll perform some of his "Tiger" magic that seems to be fading away after two years of struggles.

Oh yeah, if he ever makes his way back up, you can expect to see the Tiger Woods of old again.