Tiger's #1 Ranking in Danger

Woods' injury absence has let rivals get closer, and he won't return until Feb.
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 26, 2008 1:55 PM CST
Spaniard Sergio Garcia has crept into second in the world golf rankings, and could overtake Tiger Woods with a big win early in 2009.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Tiger Woods may be the most dominant golfer alive, but his place atop the world rankings is far from secure, Reuters reports. After his incredible US Open victory in June, Woods held a commanding lead over No. 2 Phil Mickelson, but he’s seen that lead dwindle as he recovers from surgery—and he won’t play again until at least February.

Sergio Garcia is now second in the world rankings, 3.865 points back; he, Mickelson and Padraig Harrington have the best chance to overtake Woods. If any of them can start fast and win at least one big tournament, they could bump Tiger from the top spot for the first time since 2005.