Tiger Woods performance in the 141st British Open Championship, played July 19-22, 2012, at Royal Lytham & St. Annes, was filled with failures.
He consistently failed to hit his birdie putts hard enough to reach the holes.
He failed to hit his drives as far as his competitors.
He failed to hit his ball out of a greenside bunker on the 60th hole, having to play his next shot from a half-lying down position, ultimately posting a triple bogey.
He failed to win his fourth British Open Championship.
Nevertheless, by finishing as a failure in a tie for third place, Tiger Woods passed both Lee Westwood and Rory McIlroy in the official world golf rankings. He is now #2 in the world, trailing only Luke Donald. Imagine what he might have done if he wasn't such a failure.
Luke Donald, with his #1 world ranking, tied for fifth at Royal Lytham & St. Annes, matching the best British Open finish of his career. With the schedule coming up in the next month, Donald will need to play his best (or even better than his best) if he wants to keep his grip on the top spot.
Bridgestone Invitational: The PGA Tour returns to Firestone Country Club, August 2-5, 2012. Tiger Woods has won the tournament there seven times. He claimed three victories in a row from 1999-2001, plus another three consecutively in 2005-2007. Luke Donald has two top 10 finishes in seven appearances at Firestone, tieing for second in 2011.
PGA Championship: The very next week, August 9th-12th, The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island will host the PGA Championship (the fourth and final major of 2012). Tiger Woods 14 career major victories include the PGA Championship four times, in 1999, 2000, 2006, and 2007. Luke Donald has entered 37 majors in his career, without a single victory. His best finish in the last five PGA Championships was a tie for eighth in 2011.
The stage is set. The players are well prepared. Will Luke Donald retain the world's #1 ranking on August 12, 2012, or will we see Tiger Woods' name at the top of the list once again?
Harold Andrews has played golf (competitively and recreationally) for nearly 50 years. He considers Jack Nicklaus the greatest golfer of all time.