Opinion Brief

Is Tiger Woods' reign officially over?

After holding onto it for a record five years, Woods has lost the sport's No. 1 ranking. Is this the end of an era?

It's official: Tiger Woods is no longer the undisputed king of the links. After an unprecedented 281 consecutive weeks ranked as the world's No. 1 golfer, Woods — who hasn't won a tournament since a sex scandal destroyed his marriage nearly a year ago — has slipped into second behind Britain's Lee Westwood. He took his demotion in stride though, saying he is rebuilding his game and will begin winning again soon. But will Woods ever regain his supremacy? (Watch a CNN report about Woods' fall)

Woods could be back on top fast: If anyone should know whether Tiger Woods is still a threat, says Ian Chadband at Britain's Telegraph, it's Lee Westwood. And he says Woods showed "green shoots of recovery" during the recent Ryder Cup, so he could return to dominance in the near future. In fact, Woods and Westwood are facing off at a tournament in Shanghai later this week, and if Woods wins he'll be No. 1 again."Tiger Woods loss of No. 1 status to Lee Westwood adds to grisly year for fallen star"

He no longer has that "invincible" vibe: Woods is still young, says Brent Read in The Australian. If he recovers, he has plenty of time to match Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 major championships (he currently has 14). But the last year has established that Woods is "no longer invincible" — and that aura of intimidation is something he may never get back.  "Now Tiger has lost everything ... almost"

Losing the top ranking doesn't mean much: So what if Woods hasn't won this year — neither has Westwood, says Cindy Boren at The Washington Post. Besides, it's not like this hasn't happened before — Woods has "lost the No. 1 ranking 10 times over his career." He has climbed back before, and he'll have plenty of chances to do it again."Tiger Woods tumbles from golf's No. 1 ranking as Lee Westwood moves up"

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