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Tiger drops out of World Top 20

Tiger Woods annus horribilis continues as the latest Official World Golf Rankings have kicked him out of the world top 20 for the first time since 1997.

Now ranked only No. 21 in the world dropping from No. 8, Woods has played only nine holes of competitive golf this season since Augusta - an injury-wracked nine holes at the Players Championship in Florida in May.

Following the event, Woods said on his official website. “I am only going to come back when I’m 100% ready as I do not want to risk further injury.”

With the Official World Golf Rankings tally scores based on a rolling two-year average, Woods had previously retained his top 20 positioning based on his successful 2009 performance prior to Thanksgiving.

Once the upcoming two year anniversary of Woods' remarkable run in which he won or came runner up in three straight tournaments is passed, there will be fewer triumphs to count towards his rankings and his position in golf’s elite could plummet exponentially.

The latest blow to Wood’s career comes after he fired his long-time caddie Steve Williams last week, an ugly run of upheaval for the former No. 1 since revelations of his extra-marital affairs came to light in November 2009.

The top five rankings should surprise no one. Luke Donald remains top of the charts, followed by Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer, Rory McIlroy and Steve Stricker, the highest ranked American.

Phil Mickelson, following on from his fine performance at the British Open, comes in at No.6 while the winner of that event, Darren Clarke jumps up from his spot in the triple digits to place at No. 31.

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