Woods tumbles down rankings

Golfing legend Tiger Woods has dropped out of the world’s top 100 players for the first time since 1996.

The latest rankings were released on Monday and the 39-year-old, who has struggled to return to his best following a few injuries, is now ranked 104th in the world.

The last time he was outside the top 100 was September 1996 when he was ranked 225th.

Prior to his injury lay-off Woods spend a record 683 weeks as world number one but the 14-time major winner had since carded an 82 at the Phoenix Open in January – a round he described as his worst as a professional.

Woods has not played since he withdrew from the Farmers Insurance Open on February 6 and has said that he would not return until he can “compete at the highest level”.

Woods has said he is “hopeful” of a return at the Masters which starts on April 9, but if he does forgo the tournament it will be the second successive occasion he has done so.

Woods lost his number one ranking to Adam Scott in May last year after a 2013 which saw him suffer poor form and injuries.

The American picked up an elbow injury at the Players Championship before he finished 13 over par at the US Open and only returned from the injury for The Open.

Woods was in contention all week at Muirfield and finished five shots behind winner Phil Mickelson.

Victory at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational two weeks later looked like it could be the catalyst to kick-start Woods’ winning habit.

However Woods sustained a back injury during the 2014 Honda Classic and subsequently missed the Masters for the first time since 1994.

His up and down form continued as a brilliant first round of 69 at the Open was followed up by a 77 and a finish of 69th.

His struggles with form and fitness have continued since and his college friend and confident Notah Begay feels Woods is at best 50-50 to accept the invitation to compete at Augusta.