Tiger Woods has dropped out of the world's top 100 golfers for the first time since 1996.

The 39-year-old has struggled to return to the form which saw him spend a record 683 weeks as world number one and is now ranked 104 in the official rankings.

The 14-time major winner carded an 82 at the Phoenix Open in January, a round which he described as his worst as a professional.

Woods has not played since he withdrew from the Farmers Insurance Open on February 6 saying he will not return until he can "compete at the highest level".

Woods has said he is "hopeful" of a return at the Masters which starts on April 9, but if he does forgo the tournament it will be the second successive occasion he has done so.

Woods was last outside the top 100 in September 1996 when he was ranked 225.

The then 20-year-old won the Las Vegas Invitational, the first of his 79 PGA Tour victories.

Woods lost his number one ranking to Adam Scott in May last year after a 2014 which saw him suffer poor form and injuries.

The American picked up an elbow injury at the Players Championship before he finished 13 over par at the US Open and only returned from the injury for The Open.

Woods was in contention all week at Muirfield and finished five shots behind winner Phil Mickelson.

Victory at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational two weeks later looked like it could be the catalyst to kick-start Woods' winning habit.

However, Woods sustained a back injury during the 2014 Honda Classic and subsequently missed the Masters for the first time since 1994.

His up and down form continued as a brilliant first round of 69 at the Open was followed up by a 77 and a finish of 69th.

His struggles with form and fitness have continued since and his college friend and confident Notah Begay feels Woods is at best 50-50 to accept the invitation to compete at Augusta.