Woods not surprised by drop in rankings

Yokohama: Tiger Woods says it was no
surprise to lose golf`s No. 1 ranking to England`s Lee
Westwood after struggling through a disappointing year.

Westwood assumed the top ranking Sunday to end a record
run by Woods, who had been the world`s No. 1 golfer for 281
weeks.

"As far as the world ranking is concerned, yes, I`m not
ranked No. 1 in the world," Woods said today. "In order to do
that you have to win and I didn`t win this year."

Woods played an exhibition at Yokohama Country Club on
Monday against Japanese teenager Ryo Ishikawa. He was on the
way to the HSBC Championship in Shanghai which starts Thursday
at Sheshan International.

Woods had been No. 1 since the week before the 2005 US
Open, where he was runner-up. He won the British Open a month
later and his ranking was rarely threatened since.

That changed this year when Woods struggled through his
worst season on and off the course. He took a five-month break
from golf to cope with confessions of extramarital affairs,
which ultimately led to divorce, and his game has not been the
same.

Woods said he was doing his best to adjust to no longer
being No. 1.

"As far as the emotions go, it is what it is," Woods
said. "To become No. 1 you have to win and win a lot to
maintain it. That`s the way it goes."

Westwood is followed in the rankings by Woods, PGA
champion Martin Kaymer, Phil Mickelson and Steve Stricker.

With three more events this year, Woods said he was
hopeful of turning things around.

"I`ve got three more events this year and, hopefully, I
can end on a good note," Woods said. "I`m really looking
forward to these events and hopefully they will spearhead into
a better 2011."

Westwood took the top ranking after PGA champion Kaymer
failed to finish among the top two at the Andalucia Masters in
Spain. He is the first European since Nick Faldo in 1994 to be
No. 1, and the 13th player to be No. 1 since the ranking
system began in 1986.

The Englishman`s reign could be short lived.

The HSBC Champions has assembled such a strong field that
Westwood, Woods, Kaymer or Mickelson could all be No. 1 by the
end of the week. The tournament starts Thursday at Sheshan
International where Mickelson is defending champion.

Bureau Report

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