Tiger Woods: Why He Shouldn't Be Worried About a No. 1 Ranking

Josh SellsContributor INovember 7, 2010

SHANGHAI, CHINA - NOVEMBER 02:  Tiger Woods of the USA (L) and Lee Westwood of England smile during the 2010 WGC-HSBC Champions Photocall at The Peninsula hotel on The Bund, Shanghai on November 2, 2010 in Shanghai, China.  (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

As we have all seen in recent weeks, Tiger Woods just lost his over-five-year hold on the world's No. 1 ranking on the PGA tour to European Lee Westwood.

A ranking is just a number, and I believe that there are much more important things that he should be worried about at this point in his career.

If he gets his golf game back together, the ranking will be soon to follow. But for now, he has bigger things to focus on, starting with his personal life, his swing and his consistency.

A lot has happened since the news broke almost a year ago, on the day after Thanksgiving, reporting that Tiger crashed his car in his own driveway.

A lot of rumors have come out since then about the exact details, but Tiger has remained firm that there was no foul play on the part of his wife, and that he simply got in a wreck.

But that didn't stop the media from forming their own conclusions, not to mention the fallout of his divorce stemming from his infidelity. 

Since his on-air apology to his friends, family and fans, Tiger has stated that he will regain his commitment to his religion and children. 

This is the most important factor, because until he settles his personal life, there is no way that he can keep his mind focused on his golf game.

Almost as big of a story of his car accident was the news that Hank Haney quit as Tiger's swing coach. The pair, who had been together since 2004, split just one day after Tiger withdrew from The Players Championship, citing an injured neck.

Since Haney's resignation was announced, Woods has said that he has been using video to analyze his swing. 

Without a swing coach to help, I find it hard to believe that he can truly find out the best way to make necessary tweaks to his swing. And if you have ever watched Tiger Woods play a round of golf, you know that he is very vocal about what he needs to change.

As we saw at this year's Ryder Cup, Woods was even seen practicing and analyzing his swing between shots during his rounds if he thought he hit a bad shot. This candid expression of his displeasure further proves his need for a coach.

In the past year since coming back from his time off due to an undisclosed therapy, Tiger has been on a roller coaster of finishes.

There was a lot of controversy on whether the Masters really should have been his first tournament, but his solid finish of tying for fourth place showed that he could play at his true potential.

But in his next tournament appearance at Quail Hollow, he failed to make the cut for just the sixth time in his professional career.

An apparent neck injury forced him to drop out of The Players Championship, and then he posted his worst finish (a tie for 19th) at The Memorial Tournament since 2002.

In true Tiger Woods form, in his next tournament at the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, he posted a Saturday score of 66 that would tie him for the lowest round of the tournament.

But after failing to build on that round in the final day, he would finish at three over par for the tournament, but still pulling out a top five finish with another tie for fourth place.

Woods would then continue his roller coaster ride, finishing for a tie for 46th place at the AT&T National after failing to post a round under par.

At The Open Championship, Tiger decided to make a bold move by changing his putter, saying that "he needed to improve his speed on slower greens," but changed back to his old putter after just three rounds.

After finishing in 23rd place at that event, Tiger went to The Bridgestone Invitational, where he posted the worst score of his professional career by shooting 18 over par for the tournament and finishing second to last, tying for 78th place.

After his rocky season, there were questions as to whether Tiger Woods would be chosen to represent the United States in this year's Ryder Cup. Woods was chosen as a captain's pick by Corey Pavin and rewarded him by winning three of his four pairings at the event.

And in this weekend's WGC-HSBC Champions tournament in China, Tiger's first tournament back after losing his top ranking, he posted a seven-under tie for sixth place, and proved that he is still in the top tier of the world's golfers.

When it was announced that Woods would lose his ranking after taking a break after the Ryder Cup, it looked like there could be a silver lining amongst the bad news.

Woods will no longer have the huge target on his back as the world's No. 1 golfer, and even though Tiger Woods will always be followed and targeted by the media, this is the perfect time for Woods to work on his issues in order to bring his golf game back to the level that golf fans have seen that it can be: back to the top.