(Photo by Icon Sportswire)
By Alex Myers
As Tiger Woods’ latest comeback continues to pick up steam, his Official World Golf Ranking keeps making big strides as well. Following Sunday’s runner-up at the Valspar Championship, Woods made another huge leap, moving up to No. 149 from No. 388. It marks Woods’ highest ranking in nearly three years.
Woods had fallen as low as No. 1,199 ahead of last year’s Hero World Challenge, where he made his return to competitive golf following a fourth back surgery in April.
Of course, being ranked in the top 150 again probably doesn’t give a man who has spent a record 683 weeks in the top spot much satisfaction, but a closer look shows Woods has actually performed closer to a top-10 player since his return. Due to the OWGR being calculated over a two-year period, Woods is heavily penalized by his lack of counting events — eight, only five of which he’s earned any points — during that time. Woods’ 149 ranking comes from his total points being treated as if he’s played a full schedule in that span.
Taking away the minimum divisor of 40 and dividing his points by those eight events instead changes his average points from 1.0942 to 5.47125. That higher number would put him just behind Paul Casey (5.4729), who nipped Woods by one at Innisbrook to climb to No. 12.
Woods will have a great chance of improving his ranking even more at this week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational, a tournament he’s won eight times in his illustrious career. Of course, he has a great chance of improving his ranking anytime he tees it up these days because he’ll have no counting events coming off his card for the rest of the season.