For Tiger Woods, success is defined by major championships but his ascendance back up the World Rankings are certainly a part of the "process" towards winning majors on a consistent basis again. Woods is the only three-time winner on Tour this season, victories that have put him atop the FedEx Cup standings and also have him in position to reclaim the No. 1 ranking in the world before this season is over.
There's been a revolving door in the No. 1 spot since Woods tumbled out of that perch after his off-the-course scandal. A set of Europeans including Martin Kaymer, Lee Westwood and most recently Luke Donald and Rory McIlroy have all held the title of No. 1 in the world. But each week, that player is in peril of losing his position. The parity is great for diehard golf watchers, but not necessarily for the mainstream popularity of the game. Ron Sirak of GolfWorld addressed this issue, and regardless of the official title, Woods is likely already the best player in the world again:
This is a fascinating period as we wait for the next Tiger Woods to come along. And it could very well end up being that the next Tiger Woods is Tiger Woods. It wasn't that long ago we thought it would be McIlory, or Bubba Watson. Remember him?
If Tiger wins this week, giving him four wins and a major this year, he would once again be the best player in the world. In fact, he probably already is. Really, who else has stepped up to take the title from him?
Woods has a chance to become No. 1 in the world with a win at Lytham and Luke Donald finishing outside the top three. But that will only be a nice consolation on his continued chase of Jack Nickalaus majors record.
Stick with SB Nation Tampa Bay for 2012 British Open tee times, results, updates and more. For all things golf, head over to SB Nation's golf hub.