Five Reasons Why Tiger Woods Will Never Be The World’s Number One Golfer Again
Tiger Woods: 5 Reasons He Won't Be World's #1 Again
Tiger Woods has been number one in the world rankings more weeks than any other player in the history of the standings. He has been the best player of his generation since winning the US Masters in 1997.
Woods achieved the fastest ascent to the pinnacle of the world game after winning his first Masters He stayed predominantly in that position until the end of the 2010 season when he dropped to second. He reached a career low of 58 in August of the following year.
Since retuning to competitive play after injury the former world number one has gradually moved up the world rankings again. He reached a season high of number two after the third of his regular Tour wins of 2012 in July.
Despite winning three tournaments in 2012 there are several reasons why he will have an enduring feeling of disappointment as he embarks in his Christmas break.
Woods didn’t win a major championship in 2012. He played himself into contention at the US Open and British Open only to falter over the weekend. He wasn’t a significant factor in the Masters or US PGA Championship.
Tiger had a poor Ryder Cup and won just half a point for the team. He lost three matches alongside Steve Stricker and was probably annoyed at being put out last in the singles.
Finally Woods never looked like overhauling Rory McIlroy at the head of the world rankings. There are several reasons why Woods is unlikely to be seen as the best player in the world again between now and the end of his career.
#5 Coach and Caddie
Butch Harmon was Tiger Woods' coach when he was most dominant in world golf. He worked on Woods swing to ensure more consistency even after his pupil had won several majors. Harmon was Woods' go-to man for swing mechanics from his amateur days in 1993 until 2004. The reasons why the relationship ended are unclear but Hank Haney assumed the role between 2004 and 2010. Under Haney’s instruction Woods continued to win regular tournament but his driving accuracy dropped significantly.
Sean Foley is the current incumbent of the job but he has struggled to match Harmon’s influence in key areas of Woods’ game. Steve Williams has been Woods caddie for most of his career. However, that partnership didn’t end cordially and until Woods teams up with a coach and caddie as suited to the roles as Harmon and Williams he is unlikely to be the world’s number one golfer.
#4 Major Championships Since 2008
Tiger Woods has won 14 major championships and the next best multiple winners of his contemporaries are Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els with four each. True greatness in golf is measured by how many majors a player wins and that is why Jack Nicklaus is still considered the best to have played the game. Woods needs to win majors to overhaul McIlroy in the rankings and on a head to head basis he is unlikely to win more than the current world number one over the next ten years. Since winning the US Open in 2008 Woods has played in 14 majors and finished in the top 10 seven times. However on several occasions he has played himself into contention only to be let down by a poor long game which has to improve markedly if he is to win another major.
#3 2012 Ryder Cup
Tiger Woods’s first tee shot in the Ryder Cup summed up his driving since winning the US Open in 2008. The ball landed about 30 yards off the fairway and left his foursomes partner Steve Stricker with no shot to the green. Stricker had been selected as a wildcard because of his record with Woods in previous Ryder Cups and President’s Cups. However, Stricker putted poorly and Woods did not play well enough to compensate for his partners shortcomings on the greens. When the pressure was most intense Woods could not perform and only one player, Stricker, contributed fewer points to the team cause. His missed putt on the final green in his singles match with Francesco Molinari was not significant but for one of the few times in his career Woods didn’t seem too concerned about holing or missing the putt.
#2 Luke Donald
Towards the end of 2012 Luke Donald overtook Tiger Woods in the world rankings which meant Woods fell to third place. Donald became the first player to win most money on both Tours in 2011, a feat emulated by McIlroy twelve months later. The point’s difference between Donald and Woods is slight but Donald looks more likely to win a major in 2013 and move away from Woods in the standings. Donald has an average record in the majors but he is too good a player not to win at least one and that could happen during 2013 as he takes the next logical career step.
#1 Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy has now taken Woods mantle as the best player in the world. At aged 23 he is not near his prime but is already a multiple major champion. McIlroy has a substantial lead at the head of the rankings and any player would have to win a major and several regular tournaments to overtake him during the 2013 season. The Irishman is the youngest player to win 10 million dollars on both main Tours. He is also the youngest multiple major champion since Severiano Ballesteros in 1980 and the sixth youngest of all time. McIlroy is destined to dominate the game for at least another decade.
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