Tiger Woods regained golf’s World No 1 spot yesterday as he captured the PGA Tour’s Arnold Palmer Invitational with a two-shot victory.
With his eighth Bay Hill course triumph, the 37-year-old Woods replaces Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy atop the world rankings.
This victory is Woods’ sixth in his last 20 PGA starts and 77th on the PGA Tour. Woods, who has spent 623 weeks as World No 1, will return to the top spot for the first time in 29 months.
Woods held off some strong challenges from Rickie Fowler and Justin Rose as the final round, which was halted on Sunday when wind, rain and lightning forced a suspension of play, continued once again. Woods and Fowler had played two holes on Sunday with Woods leading by three shots when play resumed at No 3 yesterday.
Rickie Fowler tried to stay with Woods but ended up hitting two shots into the water on the 16th and making a triple bogey.
Woods, not as sharp as he had been in the first three rounds, finished with a final-round 2-under 70, 13 under par, two shots better than Justin Rose.
“I play well here and that’s about as simple as it gets,” Woods told the Golf Channel with a wry smile.
“It was just a byproduct, a byproduct of hard work and getting back to winning golf tournaments. Consequently, I’ve moved up,” added Woods.
Next up is the Masters in two weeks time — April 11 — wherein Woods will try to end his five-year drought in the majors. Woods is currently stuck on 14 and is yet to win a major title since clinching the US Open in 2008.
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