It’s something that his fans thought wouldn’t happen until the day he retired but Tiger Woods is out of the world’s top 50 players for the first time since he entered into it in 1996.
Woods now sits at 51st in the rankings his lowest spot since way back on October 13, 1996 when he was ranked 61st following his maiden US PGA Tour win at the Las Vegas Invitational.
It was only a week after that he first ventured into the top 50 after winning at Disney World and beginning a remarkable run up the leader board.
In fact Woods spent a total of 778 inside the top 50 where he racked up 14 major’s in the process.
The former world number one does have a chance to reclaim his spot though as he returns from a two month break to play at the Frys.com Open at CordeValle on Thursday.
He is showing signs of regaining some form as well after shooting a practice round of 62 in preparation for the event.
It would be a huge turnaround though from a player who hasn’t tasted victory for nearly two years, the Australian Open of November 2009 his last triumph before his life infamously unravelled.
Throughout this year it’s been a real struggle for the former champ who’s battled problems in his knee and Achilles and was ultimately forced to reoperate after missing the cut in the PGA Championship at Atlanta Athletic Club back in August.
“We’re practicing very hard up at Medalist and I’m playing as much as I possibly can, something that I hadn’t not done all summer, because I hadn’t been cleared (by doctors) to do it,” Woods said.
A big portion of his break has also been spent working on a new swing technique with coach Sean Foley which is designed on taking some of the pressure of his lead leg.
It seems to be paying off though with his 62 on the Medalist a course record which included 10 birdies, seven on the back nine, where he shot 29.
“My training sessions are great,” Woods said.
“Strength has come back. My explosiveness has come back through my training, and now just trying to get my feels back, and it feels great.”