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Rankings leave Woods out in the wilderness

Last updated on: October 3, 2011 15:17 IST

Rankings leave Woods out in the wilderness

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Just when one thought nothing more could go wrong with Tiger Woods, it is exactly what has happened.

In the latest world rankings, issued Monday, the former world No.1 has slipped to a lowly 51!

It is the American's worst ranking in almost 15 years -- he was ranked No 61 in October 1996 -- and marks a nadir in his otherwise illustrious career.

Last October, Woods surrendered his top ranking to Briton Lee Westwood. And the American's stock has plummetted ever since.


 



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Woods was the youngest winner at Augusta

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Woods's current plight is a far cry from the phenomenon he was not long back.

Less than a year of having made his debut, the American won his first major, The Masters, in April 1997.

A record score of 18-under-par 270 helped the golfer win by a record margin of 12 strokes.

The triumph made Woods the youngest-ever winner at Augusta.

 



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Woods has 14 major titles

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The triumph at Augusta marked the start of an illustrious golfing career.

Woods won 13 more major titles, three each at the Masters, the US Open and the British Open, and four at the US PGA Championships.

The American has the second highest number of major titles among men, behind compatriot Jack Nicklaus.

His haul of 71 PGA Tour titles is the third highest tally ever, behind compatriots Sam Snead and Nicklaus.

However, the last of those titles came in Australia back in 2009.


 



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A three year courtship, followed by a six-year marriage

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During his professional rise, he also met and courted Swedish caddie Elin Nordegren.

The latter was a caddie to Swedish golfer Jesper Parnevik, who famously finished second best to Justin Leonard in the 1997 British Open.

Parnevik introduced the two at the Open in 2001 and they got married three years later.

The marriage lasted six years.



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Stories of multiple infidelities

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Towards late 2009, Woods's world came apart.

Stories about his infidelity began to attract media attention when he had a car accident in November that year. Soon his multiple infidelities were revealed by over a dozen women, through many worldwide media sources.

In December that year, Woods announced he would take an indefinite leave from professional golf to focus on his marriage after he admitted infidelity.

The marriage came to an acrimonious end with a divorce last August.



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Poor form, injuries led to a slump

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After a 20-week break, Woods returned to competition in April last year -- at the Masters.

However, 2010 was the first year Woods went winless for an entire season since he turned professional in 1996. A poor start to the year saw his raking drop to No 7.

A strong showing in Augusta this year, though, where he finished tied fourth, four shots behind the champion Charl Schwartzel, helped him rise to No 5.

Thereafter, injuries bogged down his progress. He missed the US and British Opens, while missing the cut at the US PGA - only the third time in his career that he had missed the cut in a major tournament.

As things stand now, Woods is winless worldwide for more than two-and-a-half years. Now his ranking has dropped to a lowly 51.  



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