ADAM Scott could be less than a week away from supplanting Tiger Woods as the world's top-ranked golfer.
According to golf number crunchers, Scott will become No.1 if he wins this week's WGC Cadillac Championship in Miami and Woods finishes outside the top seven.
Woods, who has held the world No.1 ranking for a record 673 weeks, is the defending champion and a seven-time winner of the Cadillac Championship.
But he might not even tee off at the newly renovated Blue Monster course after withdrawing from the Honda Classic due to back spasms, 13 holes into Sunday's final round.
"I need treatment every day until Thursday to try to calm it down," the 14-time major champion said. "We'll see how it is."
If Woods doesn't recover in time, Scott will still need to beat every other member of the world's top 50 to have a shot at joining his boyhood idol, Greg Norman, as only the second Australian to hold the No.1 ranking.
The last of Norman's 331 weeks at No.1 was in January 1998.
Scott has positioned himself for a tilt at No.1 with a spectacular 12-month spell highlighted by becoming Australia's first Masters champion last April.
He backed up his Augusta National heroics with victory at the first of the US PGA Tour's FedEx Cup play-off event in August before going within one hole of completing a coveted Triple Crown during the Australian summer.
The 33-year-old won the Australian PGA and Australian Masters only to bogey the last hole to allow Rory McIlroy to snatch the Australian Open from underneath his nose at Royal Sydney in December.
Despite the near-miss, McIlroy hailed Scott as "arguably the best player in the world at the moment" after stealing the Stonehaven Cup.
Scott's memorable summer cut Woods' rankings lead over the Queenslander in half, and he made further inroads with a tie for eighth in the opening event of the 2014 US PGA season in Hawaii.
After enjoying a six-week lay-off - designed to have him fresh for his Masters defence on April 10-13 - Scott resumed with a tie for 12th at the Honda Classic on Sunday.
Scott has recorded four top-10 finishes at the WGC Cadillac Championship, including a tie for third in 2013.
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