Tiger Woods out of Top 100; Steve Stricker may be back on Tour

Tiger Woods falls out of top 100 world golf rankings for the first time since 1996

It's official -- Tiger Woods has dropped out of the Top 100 in the world rankings for the first time since 1996.

Woods has stayed away from the PGA Tour since his surgically repaired -- and still tender -- back forced him to withdraw from the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in early February. He has been quietly practicing on his home course in Florida, trying to get his body and game back in shape.

The latest Official World Golf Ranking, released on Monday, listed him at No. 104.

Meanwhile, another golfer with back problems appears ready to make a return.

Steve Stricker, who had surgery on a bulging disk just before Christmas, hopes to play in the Masters next week, the Associated Press reported.

It remains to be seen if Woods will be at Augusta National.

The last time his ranking stood this low was the week before he won the 1996 Las Vegas Invitational, his first Tour victory.

Tim Rosaforte of Golf World reported Monday that Woods has been making progress.

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