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Singh just 3 tournaments from top ranking

Vijay Singh could overhaul Tiger Woods as world number one in the next three events they played if the mathematics favoured the Fijian, a world rankings official said on Wednesday.

Unlikely though that scenario would be, it is a possibility, according to rankings organiser Matt Boucher of the newly incorporated company, Official World Golf Ranking.

"I'm going with three wins and three missed cuts," Boucher told Reuters. "If Vijay won three times and Tiger missed the cut in all three of those tournaments, then Vijay would become the new number one.

"If Singh won this week's Nissan Open and Woods missed the cut, Singh would climb to around 11.3 points with Woods staying on 13.15.

"And if the same thing happened the following week, Vijay would be up to 12.4 - which would make it very close.

"But it's a safe comment for me to make because it is most unlikely to happen," Boucher added.

Singh, the game's hottest player over the last five months with three wins in 10 starts, closed the gap on Woods to just 2.91 points in the latest rankings, despite missing the cut at last week's Buick Invitational.

This is the narrowest margin between the American and the second-ranked player since the standings were revamped in September 2001.

"Tiger is no longer miles ahead," said Boucher. "There is virtually the same gap between (Woods at) one and (Singh at) two as between two and (Davis Love III at) four.

"If Love won a huge tournament in the next week or so, you'd probably think he would take over at number two."

Fourth-ranked Love, the 1997 U.S. PGA champion, is 2.87 points adrift of Singh with three-times major winner Ernie Els separating the pair at number three.

Forty-year-old Singh, who moved to second in the global pecking order after winning the Funai Classic last October, has made no secret of his desire to dislodge Woods as the game's leading player.

"I want to be number one before I finish playing competitively," he said after clinching the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am earlier this month for his third PGA Tour title in his last nine starts.

"But it's a hard feat to take Tiger off the top, because he is playing well too.

"My goal is to go out there and just try to beat the field every week. But I feel I've got to win more tournaments to get to number one. Finishing top 10 is not going to get me there."

Woods, who tied for 10th at Torrey Pines on Sunday, has been unrivalled as world number one since reclaiming the top spot with his one-shot victory in the 1999 U.S. PGA championship at Medinah.

His run has spanned a record 236 consecutive weeks -- and 306 weeks overall.

World ranking points are accumulated over a two-year period, with points awarded in the most recent 13-week spell doubled.

Each player is ranked according to his average points per tournament, points being weighted according to the status of the event and strength of the field.

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