Few would have predicted it at the start of the year that heading into the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Tiger Woods would have a chance to claim the World No. 1 ranking for himself once more.
Having slumped down the rankings over the past few years with his incredibly public demise, Woods is seemingly back, and his stock is rising with every passing week. So much so that, once play concludes in Orlando on Monday, Woods could well be the World No. 1 golfer again.
Leading the field by four shots when inclement weather brought an abrupt end to the final day's play, Woods has been in stellar form all weekend. His driving game has been strong and he has putted exceptionally well; as a result, he completely deserves another tournament victory here.
Should he do that—which seems likely given his great form and huge lead—he'll become the best player in men's golf once more in the process.
Tiger haters might as well head outside.You don't want to watch tv today.Woods returns to his rightful place in few hours.— Colin Cowherd (@ESPN_Colin) March 24, 2013
The Official World Golf Ranking statistics encapsulate just how dominant his form has been this year.
Woods has gained an incredible 128.04 points in 2013 heading into this weekend—a number that will rise even higher should he record a victory here.
To put that in to context, only two other players in the top 50 male golfers have gained 100 points or more this year. Rory McIlroy has gained just 12.73 points after an incredible 2012, and it's his World No. 1 ranking that Woods will likely see himself gaining at the end of this weekend.
And judging on the year he's had, Woods completely deserves it.
Entered into four tournaments so far this year (not including this one), Woods has two top 25 finishes and two tournament victories—which could rise to three by the end of the weekend. In comparison, McIlroy has not won a tournament all year and has only made one top 10 finish from the three tournaments he's participated in—famously walking off the course in one of them.
With another win here, Woods will have won three of his five tournaments and would be the clear favorite heading into the 2013 Masters. Given the form he's in, and his proven success at Augusta throughout the years, he'll no doubt be tough to catch .
Simply put, no other player deserves the No. 1 ranking this year more than Woods. Given all that he's been through and the fact that his ranking slipped so far as a result, having him as the best player (officially) in men's golf would be the truest statement heard from the sport in years.
For Woods—like him or not—is the greatest male player in the world right now, and will surely go down as one of the true greats of the sport.
Acknowledging that, officially, is simply the right thing for the PGA to do.
Does Tiger Woods deserve to be the new World No. 1?
Comment below or hit me up on Twitter: