Tiger Woods Could Climb into the Top 10 World Rankings this Week at Torrey Pines

By Michael Shamburger

Tiger Woods returns to the PGA Tour this week after not playing since December at the Hero World Challenge where he finished one spot out of last place in the field of 18.

His return comes at Torrey Pines and the Farmers Insurance Open, where he’s won many times before, eight to be exact with one of those being the 2008 U.S. Open. The now 43-year-old Woods, who is currently ranked 12th in the world after carding seven top 10 finishes and collecting his 80th PGA Tour victory at the Tour Championship last season, could also find himself ranked in the top 10 in the world rankings with a solid performance. This would be the first time Woods would find himself in the top 10 since the 2014 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, when he was ranked 10th.

That’s quite an accomplishment considering he was ranked 539th in the world at the start of the 2018 season and 668th after the 2017 Hero World Challenge.

"Via ESPN: “If he could make it back to No. 1 in the world, that would be an incredible accomplishment,” said Hank Haney, Woods’ coach from 2004 to 2010 — a period that never saw Woods fall below third. “I think [Jack] Nicklaus’ record [of 18 majors] is the ultimate, but so far out there [Woods has 14]. But I think No. 1 is there to be had. He has a relatively easy path. He doesn’t have all these points [that he can potentially lose] that all these guys have. So it’s easier to climb in the rankings.”"

However, Woods isn’t the only big name in the field this week. He’s paired with Xander Schauffele and Tony Finau, who are both coming off of big 2018 seasons.

Also in the field are Rory McIlroy, Jason Day, Adam Scott, Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm, Brandt Snedeker, Jordan Spieth, and current world number one Justin Rose.

Woods will need to be on his game this week if he wants to make an early statement and end up in the top 10. It’s a long season though, and there’s plenty of time for him to once again be a top 10 golfer in the world.