Masters 2012: 3 Red Flags That Tiger Woods Won't Be No. 1 in 2012

Nick HartCorrespondent IApril 9, 2012

Masters 2012: 3 Red Flags That Tiger Woods Won't Be No. 1 in 2012

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    Tiger Woods is coming off of the worst Master's of his career, shooting a 293—his worst professional score at Augusta. He missed countless shots, often times resulting in anger, ultimately culminating in him kicking his club on the 16th tee. 

    Tiger finished tied for 41st, never contending for the green jacket.

    Woods struggled throughout the tournament, and it's clear for multiple reasons that Tiger will not reach the No. 1 ranking in 2012.  

Age/Injury History

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    Tiger Woods is 36 years old. He's had numerous major injuries. He's had his knee scoped multiple times, had ligaments repaired in his knees and he's had problems with his Achilles.

    These injuries have forced Woods to miss multiple tournaments.  

    Tiger's swing generates tremendous amounts of force and pressure that places serious strain on his legs.  

    In recent years, Tiger has been attempting to change his swing as to alleviate the strain that's placed on his legs.

    Consequently, Tiger is forced to concentrate on completely reworking his swing, as opposed to simply winning tournaments.  

    The time Woods is forced to spend on rehabilitation for his injuries, as well as the time required to master his new swing, forces Tiger to miss a significant amount of tournaments each year.  

    If Tiger is to return to the No. 1 ranking in the world, he has to enter and win these tournaments.

    Unfortunately for Tiger, his body isn't cooperating.   

Swing

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    Tiger Woods just had the worst Masters tournament of his career, and the reason he played so terribly was due to his swing.  

    As I mentioned before, Tiger is working on a new swing with Sean Foley, and it's drastically affecting his game.  

    As a result, Tiger's driver and iron play suffered immensely.  

    Tiger finished 54th in greens in regulation, 29th in driving distance, and the most damning, 61 out of 62 in driving accuracy. If Tiger is going to contend for tournaments and ascend to the No. 1 ranking in the world, Tiger has to figure out his swing.  

    Considering Tiger and Foley have been working together for 18 months, it might be a significant amount of time before Tiger masters his swing.       

Mentality

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    During Tiger's streak of dominance, it was his mental game that separated him from his competitors.

    Woods was confident, unflappable and had swagger. His success was predicated on his supreme confidence.

    Unfortunately, Tiger has completely lost that aura, with his meltdown on the 16th tee serving as an example.  

    If Tiger is going to return to the pinnacle of golf as the No. 1 ranked player in the world, he needs to rediscover confidence is his game, and redevelop his mental edge.         

Conclusion

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    For Tiger Woods to return to the No. 1 ranking in the world, he needs to stay healthy, master his swing and redevelop the swagger that was essential to his early dominance.  

    However, I don't see that happening.  

    Woods is too old, too injury prone and too mentally drained to become the best in the world again.

    While he will certainly win a tournament here and there, and will surely contend for majors, he will not reach No. 1 in 2012 and it's certainly plausible that he will never again reach the same level of dominance that was commonplace in his early career.