Garcia has a shot at No. 1

DORAL, Fla. -- For the first time in his career, Sergio Garcia has a mathematical chance to be No. 1 in the world.

Tiger Woods has been atop the world ranking for the past 144 weeks -- dating to June 12, 2005 -- and his 21.542 points were more than twice his nearest challenger after winning the U.S. Open in June.

But he missed the next eight months following knee surgery, and while Garcia has only won twice since then, the Spaniard has been runner-up four times, including two FedEx Cup playoff events and the PGA Championship.

Garcia, who was 16.278 points behind Woods after the U.S. Open, trails him by a mere 1.59 points. To become No. 1 in the world, Garcia would have to win the CA Championship and have Woods finish 27th or worse.

"It would be nice to accomplish something like that, and more than anything, when [Tiger] is around, which is even tougher," Garcia said Tuesday. "But you can't say more than that on it."

The odds of that happening are not in his favor.

Garcia is capable of winning anywhere, but Woods has never finished out of the top 10 in his six previous trips to Doral. Woods has only 22 tournaments on his two-year ledger for the world ranking, meaning his minimum divisor of 40 (number of tournaments played) will stay the same the rest of the year.

Phil Mickelson is No. 3 in the world, trailing Garcia by .44 points. Neither of them has ever been No. 1 in the world.

Garcia says the notion of becoming the first European in 15 years atop the world ranking has not been on his mind that much. He has played six times this year, but his progress was slowed by a first-round loss in the Accenture Match Play Championship.

"Obviously, it is a little bit because you have a chance," Garcia said. "If you don't have a chance, then there's no way of thinking about it. But you do have a chance."

The last European at No. 1 was Nick Faldo in January 1994.