LA JOLLA, US: Tiger Woods fell to 56th in the world rankings released Monday and is in danger of failing to qualify for next month’s World Golf Championships (WGC) event at Doral.
The 14-time major champion, chasing the record 18 majors won by Jack Nicklaus, needs to reach the top 50 after the Northern Trust Open at Riviera or Honda Classic later this month in order to qualify for the WGC Cadillac Championship that begins March 5 at Doral.
Former world number one Woods has captured that WGC event seven times and won four times at Doral, most recently at the 2013 WGC Cadillac event.
Woods, 39, has failed to qualify for only one WGC event, the 2011 HSBC Champions, in his career.
Woods dropped nine ranking spots after missing the cut at last week’s Phoenix Open and enters this week’s US PGA event at Torrey Pines only two spots above his worst ranking, 58th, since his first PGA victory at Las Vegas in 1996.
With 79 career titles, Woods is only three shy of matching the all-time record of 82 PGA triumphs by Sam Snead. But he last won a title at the 2013 WGC Bridgestone Invitational and has not won a major since the 2008 US Open at Torrey Pines, when he won a playoff over Rocco Mediate limping on a broken leg.
Woods had been the world number one until last May but nagging back injuries and struggling to revamp his swing have seen him fail to finish in the top 20 in his past nine events.