Akron, Ohio :Tiger Woods' reign at the top of the World golf rankings for about 270 weeks seems set to end.
Thanks to a disastrous start at the WGC Brigestone Invitational in Ohio, Woods carded his career worst score at Firestone, a shocking four-over-par 74 in the opening round at the Bridgestone Invitational on Thursday.
Phil Mickelson who is tied for 2nd place at 4 under could take the World No 1 ranking with a win or a top-4 finish this week & if Woods finishes outside the top 37.
Ironically, Woods has dominated this tournament for a decade, winning 7 times in 10 appearances, but he was completely off his game in ideal conditions.
He hit only five fairways in a wayward driving performance and the rest of his game was just as bad as he finished the day ahead of only eight players.
It was his worst score by two strokes in 45 competitive rounds at Firestone.
"It's frustrating, because I warmed up well and my practice sessions at home were good," said the world number one. "Today was not indicative of how I've been playing.
"The last three holes I hit some good shots but the majority of the day I didn't.
"I just didn't play well, didn't get off to a good start, two-over through two easy holes. I hit about two good iron shots all day and didn't hit any good putts either.
"The only thing I did good today is I kept my patience, grinded all day, and that was the best I could have done."
Woods has never gone so late in the season without posting a victory, although this is only his eighth start this year, because he took the first three months off to deal with his personal problems.
He said his goal was to get back to even par or better by the end of the second round on Friday and take it from there.