Tiger Woods is closer to Steph Curry in golf world rankings than No 1 Dustin Johnson or Rory McIlroy ahead of comeback at Hero World Challenge

  • Tiger Woods returns to golf this week at the Hero World Challenge
  • Woods has been on the sidelines since February after back fusion surgery
  • His world ranking has slipped to a lowly 1,199th after years of injury troubles
  • That is just 729 places above Steph Curry, the basketball star and amateur golfer?

Tiger Woods may be 'loving life' again ahead of his latest comeback to tournament golf in the Bahamas this week, but a glance at the world rankings shows just how far he's fallen during his long battle against serious back injury.

Incredibly, Woods is now closer in golf's world rankings to basketball phenomenon Steph Curry, who has played only one professional golf tournament, than to world No 1 Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy in No 10 or his old rival Phil Mickelson, who is now at No 35.

Woods has a world ranking of 1,199, which is 729 places above Curry in 1,928th, as opposed to the 1,198-place difference between him and Johnson. There are 1,189 places between him and McIlroy and 1,164 spots separating Woods and Mickelson.

Tiger Woods is set for his return to tournament golf in the Bahamas this week

Tiger Woods is set for his return to tournament golf in the Bahamas this week

Basketball star Steph Curry is ranked 729 places below Woods in the golf world rankings

Basketball star Steph Curry is ranked 729 places below Woods in the golf world rankings

The 41-year-old Californian has 14 majors to his name and occupied the world No 1 spot for a record 683 weeks during his incredible career.

Curry, the Golden State Warriors point guard, is a good amateur golfer, who has a handicap of two and has been as low as scratch. The 29-year-old missed the cut in his debut at a professional golf tournament, the Ellie Mae Classic on the second-tier Web.com Tour in August.?

Woods' world ranking of 1199 is closer to Curry's than world No 1 Dustin Johnson (above)

Woods' world ranking of 1199 is closer to Curry's than world No 1 Dustin Johnson (above)

Curry has played in just one professional golf tournament, and is a good amateur golfer

Curry has played in just one professional golf tournament, and is a good amateur golfer

NOTABLE AND SELECTED GOLF WORLD RANKINGS?

1 - Dustin Johnson (USA)

2 - Jordan Spieth (USA)

3 - Justin Thomas (USA)

4 - Jon Rahm (Spain)

5 - Hideki Matsuyama (Japan)

6 - Justin Rose (England)

7 - Brooks Koepka (USA)

8 - Henrik Stenson (Sweden)

9 - Rickie Fowler (USA)

10 - Rory McIlroy (Northern Ireland)

35 - Phil Mickelson (USA)

100 - David Horsey (England)

200 - Tapio Pulkkanen (Finland)

500 - Chan Shih-chang (Taiwan)

1,000 - Nick McCarthy (England)

1,199 - Tiger Woods (USA)

1,928 - Steph Curry (USA)

He is more famous for being a two-time NBA champion with the Warriors, a two-time NBA MVP and a four-time NBA All-Star, among many other basketball achievements.?

Woods this week tees it up at the Hero World Challenge, an unoffical PGA Tour event run on behalf of his own charitable foundation, his first tournament since February when he limped out of the Dubai Desert Classic.?

The 79-time PGA Tour winner underwent fusion surgery on his spine in a bid to finally overcome the back problems that have plagued him for years, and insisted on Tuesday that he was fully fit and healthy again.?

It will be Woods's 10th comeback from a lay-off - due to injury or personal problems - of 10 weeks or more during his career.?

Such is the nature of this week's tournament - a limited, 18-man invitation-only field without a halfway cut - even simply playing all four rounds will help Woods leap up the rankings by more than 250 places.

Finishing in 10th place would see him climb inside the top 700, while a win would catapult him into the top 150.

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