Tiger Woods' ranking falls to its lowest point since 1996: Is he finished?

Down and out? Woods' injury struggles have cast a shadow over his recent form (Source: Getty)
Is Tiger Woods finished? The legendary golfer dropped to 62nd in the world - his lowest world ranking since 1996 - after pulling out of the Farmers Insurance Open on Thursday.
Woods' withdrawal came just a week after he recorded his worst 18-hole score as a professional in nearly two decades at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
At 39 years old, Woods has plenty of examples of older pros returning to the top to take heart from. Jack Nicklaus famously won the Masters aged 46.
Yet returning to the imperiousness of yesteryear looks increasingly unlikely for Woods as he combats chronic back problems and struggles to retain the mental edge that set him apart in the early years of his career.
Woods has not won a major championship since 2008. The man with the record for the most consecutive weeks in the top 10 has seen his ranking plummet in recent months.
In 2013, Woods reminded the world of how special a talent he is, winning player of the year on the PGA tour after picking up five championships. He entered 2014 ranked number one in the world yet his performance was continually crippled by back pain that also saw him miss a large chunk of the season to undergo surgery. At the PGA Championship, Woods failed to make the cut.
When once the image most commonly associated with Woods was a broad smile with a trophy in hand, the sight of a pained face being whisked away on a buggy is increasingly taking its place.
As well as injury issues, Woods has grappled with new swing changes and new coaches which have not always been adapted to smoothly.
Is Woods finished? The American proved in 2013 that when he can dominate the mental side of the game and avoid injury he is still capable of victorious performances on the course. Perhaps he will even add to his 14 majors.
Yet as long as Woods’ injuries keep striking such a hammer blow to his standing in the game, we are unlikely to ever see Tiger Woods as a dominant force again.

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