Tiger Woods Falls from Official World Golf Ranking Top 10

David KindervaterCorrespondent IMay 23, 2011

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL - MAY 11:  Tiger Woods hits a tee shot during a practice round prior to the start of THE PLAYERS Championship held at THE PLAYERS Stadium course at TPC Sawgrass on May 11, 2011 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

For the first time since April 1997—before he won his first green jacket at the Masters Tournament—Tiger Woods is no longer among those players in the Official World Golf Ranking Top 10.

For the week of May 22, Woods is listed at No. 12.

It's almost unfathomable.

The man who many considered the best golfer of all-time—the man who once held the top spot in the OWGR for a staggering 623 weeks (281 of those consecutively)—remains locked in a free-fall of gargantuan proportions.

After suffering public humiliation in a much-publicized case of marital infidelity in November 2009, Woods' golf game has been marred by unsuccessful swing changes and injuries.

The result? Let the ranking and statistics show that Woods is no longer one of the best golfers in the world.

As much as we knew Woods was going through a rough patch, the time is approaching for the realization that his best golf might be behind him. Of course, there's plenty of time for a comeback. He's only 35 years old. But the truth of the matter is it doesn't appear it's going to happen in the near future.

Woods has claimed it's going to take time before his work with "new" swing coach Sean Foley will kick in, but he hasn't won a golf tournament since 2009 and aside from a few top five finishes at major championships—an admirable accomplishment for just about any other golfer—Woods simply isn't playing very well.

At least not well enough to be considered one of the 10 best golfers in the world.