Tiger Woods climbs over 500 places in world golf rankings

Former world number one now number 668 after his tied-ninth finish in the Bahamas

Tiger Woods watches his shot from a bunker on the 17th hole during the final round of the Hero World Challenge at Albany Golf Club in Nassau, Bahamas. Photo: Dante Carrer/AP Photo

Tiger Woods watches his shot from a bunker on the 17th hole during the final round of the Hero World Challenge at Albany Golf Club in Nassau, Bahamas. Photo: Dante Carrer/AP Photo

 

Former world number one Tiger Woods made a leap of 531 places in the new world golf rankings after his tied-ninth place finish at the Hero World Challenge – his first tournament in 301 days.

Woods, who entered the week ranked 1,199, carded rounds of 69, 68, 75 and 68 to finish ahead of the likes of US PGA champion Justin Thomas, world number one Dustin Johnson and US Open champion Brooks Koepka and has now moved to world number 668, nestled in between Matt Harmon and Rico Hoey.

Harmon, incidentally, is the man who three-putted the final green at the Web.com Tour Championship, enabling Seamus Power to earn his PGA Tour card by the skin of his teeth while the world number 669 missed out.

Woods is no stranger to numbers involving 600 in terms of the world rankings, but they’re generally in a different context. The 14-time major winner was world number one for 683 weeks in total, 281 of which came consecutively between June 12th 2005 and October 30th 2010. Woods last got to world number one in 2013 when he won five times that season but was displaced by Adam Scott in May of the following year and has fallen down the list since, largely due to a lack of play as he battled injuries.

However, after an encouraging return to play in The Bahamas, the 41-year-old is keen on playing a regular schedule next year which he will build around the major championships. Having amassed eight professional wins at Torrey Pines, Woods will be expected to start his season at the California course with the Farmers Insurance Open which begins on January 25th. Woods did play in the 2017 event but missed the cut before withdrawing after a single round at the Dubai Desert Classic the following week. That would be the last competitive round he would play as he took an extended break to undergo a back fusion before returning last week in his own 18-man event which was eventually won by Rickie Fowler with a stunning final round 61.

At the top of the world rankings Dustin Johnson still holds a sizeable lead over Jordan Spieth in second and Justin Thomas in third. Indeed, the top six is completely unchanged with Rickie Fowler the only upward mover in the top 10, going from ninth to seventh. Rory McIlroy remains in 10th place as he works towards a return to competitive action at the Dubai Desert Classic on the European Tour which takes place the same week as the Farmers Insurance Open.

Shane Lowry remains the highest-ranked Irishman behind McIlroy at world number 62 with Paul Dunne 14 places behind in 76th.

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