AUGUSTA, Ga. – Tiger Woods has been World No. 1 for 678 weeks during the course of his career, but he could lose his grip on the prestigious spot this week at the Masters.
According to the Official World Golf Ranking, Australians Jason Day and Adam Scott – as well as Sweden’s Henrik Stenson – can take over the top spot depending on their performance in the first men’s major of the year.
Defending champion Scott would need to finish no worse than a two-way tie for third to jump in front of Woods.
Stenson, the reigning FedEx Cup champion, would need to finish no worse than a two-way tie for second to supplant Woods.
Day needs to simply win to take the top spot.
Woods took back the top spot from Rory McIlroy at the 2013 Arnold Palmer Invitational when he won his third event of the 2013 season.
Woods would win two more times in 2013 and take a stranglehold on the top spot by over five points. Yet, heading into the Masters, Woods’ lead over Scott is just 0.65. And with Woods sidelined after surgery to fix a pinched nerve in his back, it seems inevitable that he will be supplanted atop the rankings.
If Day or Scott took over the top spot, either would be the second Australian in the history of the rankings to ascend to the top spot. Greg Norman was World No. 1 for a total of 331 weeks and last gave up the top spot on Jan. 11, 1998 when Tiger Woods took it away from him.
If Stenson takes over the top spot, he will be the first Swede ever to hold World No. 1 – and the ninth European joining Seve Ballesteros, Bernhard Langer, Nick Faldo, Ian Woosnam, Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer, Luke Donald and Rory McIlroy.