Tiger Woods rockets up world ranking with near last-place finish

Tiger Woods waves to crowd during trophy presentation at 2023 Hero World Challenge

Tiger Woods is moving on up in the Official World Golf Ranking.

David Cannon/Getty Images

At last week’s Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas, Tiger Woods made his return to pro golf after missing most of 2023 due to injury. And it only took four rounds of golf for Tiger to make a massive leap up the world ranking.

But to rocket up the ranking, a player needs to start from a low position, or in Tiger’s case, an extremely low position.

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After missing large portions of the last few seasons and playing poorly (or WDing) the few times he did tee it up, Woods had dropped all the way down to No. 1,328 in the Official World Golf Ranking, the lowest ranking of his career.

But that all changed this week. Woods had an up-and-down performance at the Hero, making lots of birdies along with plenty of bogeys. The most important development, at least in his eyes, is that his body held up for 72 holes.

In the end, Woods’ scorecard showed a total score of even par, which put him in 18th place. At a normal event, that would be a solid finish, but the Hero World Challenge only had 20 competitors, which meant Tiger was two spots from last place.

In theory, the Hero has a lot working against it: its field size is small, it features no cut and it’s an unofficial PGA Tour event. But the quality of competition is strong, given that many of the top players in the world tee it up, including this year’s winner, World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler. Because of that, the tournament awards OWGR ranking points.

As a result, even with his poor showing, Woods moved up 430 spots in the rankings, all the way up to No. 898.

This isn’t the first time Woods made a world-rankings leap when returning from injury at the Hero World Challenge, nor is it the most dramatic jump.

Back in 2017, Woods played the Hero after missing most of the season, finishing a respectable T9. With that result, he moved from No. 1199 to No. 668. Following his 2019 Masters win, Woods made it all the way back to No. 5 in the world before more injuries and surgeries stalled his progress.

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