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Tiger Woods Falls Out of Golf World Rankings Top 100 for 1st Time Since 1996

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistMarch 30, 2015

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Tiger Woods has crashed out of the world's top 100-ranked golfers for the first time since 1996, the year before his maiden major win.

The 14-time major winner has been in steep decline in recent times, and the latest official world rankings have him at No. 104, one place behind Danish youngster Thorbjorn Olesen.

Woods holds the record for most time spent at No. 1 after holding the top spot for 683 weeks during his storied career, but Rory McIlroy now occupied the post, per OWGR:

Golf World Rankings
RankingPlayerNationality
1Rory McIlroyNIR
2Henrik StensonSWE
3Bubba WatsonUSA
4Jordan SpiethUSA
5Jason DayAUS
6Adam ScottAUS
7Dustin JohnsonUSA
8Sergio GarciaESP
9Jim FurykUSA
10Jimmy WalkerUSA
104Tiger WoodsUSA
OWGR

Widely regarded as one of golf's all-time greats, Woods has not won a major since the 2008 U.S. Open.

The ensuing period has seen him embroiled in personal and professional controversy, and his form on the golf course has been wildly inconsistent, with fitness a major issue.

At the Phoenix Open in late January he carded an 82, his worst round as a professional, and Woods has not competed since withdrawing from the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in early February.

However, an appearance at the year's first major, April's Masters, could be in the cards for Woods, per his official website: "I hope to be ready for the Masters, and I will continue to work hard preparing for Augusta."

A decent performance amidst Augusta's azaleas could halt the 39-year-old's decline and would be good news for golf in general given Woods' standing and popularity in the game.

As ESPN's Gene Wojciechowski notes, the sight of Woods ranked so low is something of an oddity:

Gene Wojciechowski @GenoEspn

I understand all the reasons for the plummet in the rankings, but it's still really weird to see Tiger Woods at No. 104.

Not since he was ranked No. 225 in September 1996 has Woods been out of the golf's top 100, and his phenomenal 12-shot Masters victory just seven months later would be the first of four green jackets.

While a fifth Augusta victory seems unlikely in 2015's Masters, a return to some kind of decent form would be welcome, this latest ignominy being a stark mark of how far Woods—arguably the greatest golfer of all time—has fallen.

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