PGA Championship 2012: How Tiger could get back to No. 1 in the world
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PGA Championship 2012: How Tiger could get back to No. 1 in the world

There is more than the Wanamaker Trophy up for grabs this week at the 94th PGA Championship. The top spot in the Official World Golf Ranking may be claimed by a new/familiar face by Sunday evening.

Three players are could remain or become the No. 1 golfer in the world: current No. 1 Luke Donald, No. 2 Tiger Woods and No. 3 Rory McIlroy.

So how can a new world No. 1 be crowned this week?

Woods and McIlroy can both reach world No. 1 this week with a win at Kiawah. Woods can regain the top spot with a win, regardless of how his fellow competitors fare. McIlroy, however, would need Donald to finish lower than T-2 with one other person, or worse.

Both McIlroy and Woods can get to No. 1 with a runner-up finish, as well. Should McIlroy finish this week in second place alone, he still could go to No. 1 if Donald misses the cut and Woods doesn't win. If Woods finishes second alone, he would go to No. 1 so long as Donald finishes outside of the top five and McIlroy doesn't win.

Donald has held this position for 56 total, non-consecutive weeks leading into Kiawah Island, first taking No. 1 with his win at the 2011 BMW Championship at Wentworth. The Englishman, however, has traded places with McIlroy a half-dozen times this season.

Woods, of course, owns the record of most consecutive weeks atop the world rankings at 623. He fell as low as 58th on the list in November 2011 after a tumultuous 24 months before quickly climbing back to his current position thanks to wins at the 2011 Chevron World Challenge, as well as three wins this year at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, The Memorial tournament and AT&T National.

McIlroy first gained the top ranking after his win at the Honda Classic in March. What followed was two months of passing the baton back and forth with Donald before Wentworth. Donald has been No. 1 since. McIlroy's game has slipped slightly since that time, but has dropped just a spot to third.

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Adam Fonseca

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