Skip to main content

Woods wants to win 'crowning jewel of Asian golf'

Tiger Woods, left, faces off against Lee Westwood at a promotional event for the HSBC Champions in China.
Tiger Woods, left, faces off against Lee Westwood at a promotional event for the HSBC Champions in China.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Martin Kaymer can topple new golf No. 1 Lee Westwood
  • Quartet lining up for WGC-HSBC Champions tournament in China this week
  • Woods, whose 281-week reign was ended on Sunday, seeking first Shanghai title
  • Fellow American Mickelson is the defending champion, having also won in 2007

(CNN) -- Tiger Woods is looking forward to the chance to immediately win back his world No. 1 golf ranking at this week's WGC-HSBC Champions event in China.

The American returns to action on Thursday for his first outing since the Ryder Cup in early October, having seen Englishman Lee Westwood end his 281-week reign on Sunday.

Woods, No. 3 Martin Kaymer and defending champion Phil Mickelson can all claim top spot in Shanghai this weekend.

"To be number one in the world you have to win regularly, and I haven't done that lately," Woods told reporters. "As in every event I play, I'm here trying to win.

Video: Westwood trumps Woods for #1

"If ever there was an event that deserved to be the first Asian tournament to impact the top of the world rankings, this is the one. I've referred to it before as the crowning jewel of Asian golf."

After the $7 million event at Sheshan International, where Woods was sixth last year, the 34-year-old will head to Bangkok for a skins tournament celebrating the 84th birthday of the King of Thailand -- the country where his mother was born.

The 14-time major winner will defend his Australian Masters title in Melbourne from November 11-14, and then end his season as playing host of the Chevron World Challenge in California in early December.

I've got three more events this year, and hopefully I can end on a good note
--Tiger Woods
RELATED TOPICS

"I've got three more events this year, and hopefully I can end on a good note," said Woods, who has not won a title this year following his marital problems and injuries.

"I'm really looking forward to these events and, hopefully, they will spearhead into a better 2011."

Mickelson, who also won in Shanghai in 2007, believes any player in the 78-man field can win this year's title in the sixth staging of the tournament.

"There are very, very few events each year that have the strength in depth of the HSBC Champions. Every player in the field has the talent and the experience to win; it's a field of winners," the American said.

"Everyone wants to be number one in the world but the only way to get there is to win tournaments, and the HSBC is a big tournament, a great opportunity to advance."

The 40-year-old, who won his third Masters title in April but then blew several chances to topple Woods from the No. 1 spot, is paired with Westwood and 2006 champion Y.E. Yang for the first two rounds.

Woods will play with U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell and former No. 1 Ernie Els, while U.S. PGA winner Kaymer was drawn with U.S. Ryder Cup adversary Hunter Mahan and England's Paul Casey.