Tiger Woods may have lost his head-to-head battle with Robert Rock in the final group at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, but his tie for third place was enough to lift him back into the top 20 in the Official World Golf Ranking. This week Woods is ranked 17th.
Woods began 2012 ranked 23rd, thanks largely to his victory at the Chevron World Challenge in December. He slipped to 25th the week before teeing it up in Abu Dhabi, his first event of the year.
Despite not winning in Abu Dhabi, Woods said he is pleased with the way his golf game is progressing. His next scheduled tournament is the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am in two weeks.
"I've got a week off to get ready for Pebble, and then we have a couple of big events, a couple of World Golf Championships," he said. "So there's plenty of big events to go, but I'm pleased at the progress I've made so far. Basically since Australia, my stroke-play events have been pretty good. So I just need to keep building, keep getting more consistent."
Woods entered the 2011 season as the top-ranked player in the world, but during his erratic, injury-plagued season he briefly toppled out of the top 50 before winning the Chevron in December.
Thanks to his victory in Abu Dhabi, Robert Rock vaulted up the rankings from 117th to 55th.
Luke Donald tied for 48th in Abu Dhabi but maintained his No. 1 ranking. Rory McIlroy finished second in Abu Dhabi and passed Lee Westwood for No. 2, the highest McIlroy has been ranked in his career.
(Photo: Paul Childs/Zuma Press)