Tiger Woods: Why Woods keeps dropping in world golf rankings

Tiger Woods has fallen to No. 8 in the world golf rankings, as of Monday. But Tiger Woods makes his return to the PGA Tour this week at the Players Championship in Florida.

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    Left to right, Keith Urban, Tiger Woods, and John Mayer are seen prior to the 2011 Tiger Jam at Mandalay Bay Events Center at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada on April 30.
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After being off since the Masters last month to help various leg injuries heal, Tiger Woods finds himself further down the list of the world's top golfers.

Tiger is now eighth in the world, just behind Englishman Paul Casey. Phil Mickelson is fourth on the list, which also includes fellow Americans Steve Stricker and Matt Kuchar in the top 10.

Who's No. 1?

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Englishman Lee Westwood won the Ballantine's Championship this past week, to keep the top spot ahead of Martin Kaymer, who had 8 weeks in the No. 1 slot. Westwood has now held the top position for three consecutive weeks. Tiger Woods once held the No. 1 spot for 623 weeks.

Tiger's drop is a combination of poor performance, injuries, and a decline in participation on the pro tour.

The world professional golf rankings are based on points awarded according to the players' finishing positions each week in major professional golf tournaments worldwide. Points for each player are accumulated over a two year “rolling” period. Some events, such as the majors, are worth more points.

Woods is entered in the Players Championship, taking place later this week at the TPC Sawgrass course outside of Jacksonville, Florida. This year marks the tenth anniversary of Tiger's one and only Players Championship victory.

The Players is considered the fifth major by most pro golfers. On Monday, six men, including South African Ernie Els and former US President George H.W. Bush, were inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.

The world of golf is also dealing with the passing of former Masters and British Open champion Seve Ballesteros last Saturday.

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