Scott Closing in on Woods atop World Golf Ranking


Adam Scott has been racking up the points in the world golf rankings while Tiger Woods has been inactive. The 33-year-old Scott won two of the three "grand slam" events in his native country - the Australian PGA and Australian Masters, and finished second in last week's Australian Open.

Scott's finish on Sunday at Royal Sydney Golf Club took him from 2.31 behind to within 1.76 average points of No. 1-ranked Woods.

Woods' only tournament this new season was the Turkish Airlines Open, where he finished tied for third. He rose to No. 1 following five wins last year. He's playing this week in the Northwestern Mutual World Challenge at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, Calif., a limited-field event that benefits his Tiger Woods Foundation.

In 2013, Scott has won four times - including his first major, the Masters in April - as well as The Barclays, the initial tournament in the season-ending FedEx Cup.

Rory McIlroy, who edged Scott by a stroke in Sydney, called Scott "arguably the best player in the world at the moment."

Scott, who's off until the PGA Tour's Hyundai Tournament of Champions January 3-6, has his sights set on the top spot. "It's been a dream of mine, like it's a dream of every other kid's, to be No. 1, and I'm as close as I've ever been. I'm not going to stop dreaming of it just because Tiger Woods holds the No. 1 spot," he said.

"But we all know how difficult it is to surpass him. Only a few people have done it in the last 15 years, and I've got my work cut out for me the whole of next year in trying to do that.

"Tiger won't want to give up that No. 1 spot very easy either, so he'll be off working on it. It doesn't take much to motivate him to want to put someone back in their place," added Scott, who's seeking to become the first Aussie ranked No. 1 since Greg Norman - before he was supplanted by Woods - in 1998.

Thanks to his fine recent play - including a victory in the season-ending Tour Championship and the 2013 FedEx Cup title, Sweden's Henrik Stenson is now No. 3 in the world, with the remaining top-10 filled out by Phil Mickelson, Justin Rose, McIlroy, Matt Kuchar, Steve Stricker, Brandt Snedeker and Jason Day. Day, who performed well in the Australian majors, bumped Jason Dufner to 11th.

South Africa's Charl Schwartzel, who won last week's Alfred Dunhill Championship for the second year in a row, moved up to 18th.


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