Woods back to No. 1 after eighth Bay Hill win
Orlando, FL (Sports Network) - It took an extra day, but Tiger Woods is back on top of the world rankings.
Woods polished off a 2-under 70 on Monday to earn his eighth victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. He ended at 13-under-par 275, which was good for a 2-stroke victory.
In addition, Woods moved back to No. 1 in the world rankings for the first time since October 2010 with his third win of 2013 and sixth victory in his last 20 PGA Tour starts.
"I play well here. That's about as simple as it gets," Woods joked in a greenside interview. "(Becoming No. 1 again) was just a by-product of hard work, patience and getting back to winning golf tournaments again."
Woods also became the second player to win the same event eight times, joining Sam Snead, who won eight Greater Greensboro Open titles. The victory also moved Woods within five of Snead's tour record 82 wins.
Justin Rose, who shared third at this event in 2011, also closed with a 70 to take second place at minus-11 at Bay Hill Club & Lodge.
Rickie Fowler tripped to a 1-over 73 to slide into a share of third. He ended alongside Mark Wilson (71), Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (72) and 2011 PGA Championship winner Keegan Bradley (71).
A violent thunderstorm on Sunday forced officials to call play for the day with Woods and Fowler, the final twosome, on the third tee. Play resumed Monday morning just before 10 a.m. ET.
At the par-5 fourth, Woods chipped to 12 feet and drained the birdie effort to go three clear of Bradley, who had birdied the sixth to briefly get within two.
Woods got up and down for birdie from a greenside bunker at the sixth to stretch his lead to four over Fernandez-Castano. Woods' drive at the eighth stopped behind a tree and he was forced to chip out to the fairway.
The 37-year-old Woods dropped his third to 12 feet, but missed the par-saving putt. He was still four clear of six players.
After three straight pars around the turn, Woods answered Fowler at the 12th. Fowler, who had birdied the ninth, ran in a long birdie effort at 12 to get within two, but Woods buried a 26-footer for a birdie of his own and was three ahead again.
Fowler moved within two as he birdied the 14th, then both stumbled to bogeys at the 15th. Woods bounced back with a 2-putt birdie from 35 feet at the par-5 15th.
That put him three in front of Rose and six ahead of Fowler, who dumped two balls in the water en route to a triple-bogey on No. 16.
Woods safely parred the 17th, but hit his drive into deep rough at 18. He played his third down the fairway and safely chipped to the left side of the 18th green.
He had some 73 feet for his par and he narrowly missed on the right edge, but tapped in the bogey effort that did nothing more than trim his winning margin to two.
"The first step in the process was getting healthy. Once I got there, then my game turned," Woods said. "I've won six times on the tour the last couple years. That's not bad."
NOTES: Woods earned $1.116 million for the victory and pushed his career money total over $104.7 million ... This marks the 11th time Woods has been ranked first in the world rankings ... Woods had at least a share of the 54-hole lead for the seventh time in his eight wins at this event, and for his career has now won 52 of the 56 times he had at least a piece of the 54-hole lead ... Rose notched his third straight top-10 finish ... Sergio Garcia withdrew with shoulder and Achilles problems when the weather delay hit on Sunday ... Forty- three players completed the final round on Monday ... The tour heads to Texas next week for the Houston Open, where Hunter Mahan beat Carl Pettersson by a single stroke last year.
03/25 15:15:41 ET