Tiger Woods
Woods has not played since abandoning his first round at the Farmers Insurance Open with a back problem.Getty Images

Tiger Woods' sad descent into mediocrity has continued after the legendary golfer tumbled out of the world's top 100 for the very first time in his illustrious career.

Woods, a 14-time major champion and 11-time PGA Player of the Year, has not lifted a club in anger since choosing to take an indefinite break from golf in February 2015 following a turgid run of form that saw him shoot a career-low round of 82 at the Phoenix Open in January.

Persistent back trouble led to Woods withdrawing from his last tournament at Torrey Pines, and that lack of competitive action has seen the previously dominant 39-year-old slip all the way to 104 in the latest rankings, one spot behind Thorbjorn Olesen and two adrift of fellow American Morgan Hoffman.

This is the first time that Woods has featured outside of the top 100 since 1996, before he had established himself as a household name and embarked upon an unprecedented run of success.

While Woods will undoubtedly be disappointed with such a drop, it is unclear at this stage if he plans to compete at the Masters in Augusta next month after declining his spot at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

"I spoke to Arnold today and told him that I will not play in his tournament this year. I'm sorry I won't be in Orlando next week, but I know it will be a really successful event," he announced on his official website prior to the tournament.

"I've put in a lot of time and work on my game and I'm making strides, but like I've said, I won't return to the PGA TOUR until my game is tournament ready and I can compete at the highest level. I hope to be ready for the Masters, and I will continue to work hard preparing for Augusta. I want to thank everyone again for their support."

USA captain Davis Love III recently confirmed that Woods is still expecting to make the team for next year's Ryder Cup after missing the 16½-11½ defeat to Europe at Gleneagles in 2014.