Woods’ intentions remain unclear

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Published: Tuesday 31st March 2015 by The News Editor

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Tiger Woods’ Masters plans may still be unknown – but this week’s world rankings see his decline once again laid bare.

The 39-year-old dropped out of the top 100 for the first time since 1996, appearing at 104 in the new list released on Monday following the Valero Texas Open and the Hassan Trophy.

Woods has struggled to return to the form which saw him spend a record 683 weeks as world number one and carded an 82 at the Phoenix Open in January, a round which he described as his worst as a professional.

He has not played since he withdrew from the Farmers Insurance Open on February 6 saying he will 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.

His college friend and confidant Notah Begay feels Woods is at best 50-50 to accept the invitation to compete at Augusta.

Woods was last outside the top 100 in September 1996, when the then 20-year-old was ranked 225th before winning the Las Vegas Invitational, the first of his 79 PGA Tour victories.

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.

Published: Tuesday 31st March 2015 by The News Editor

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