Tiger Woods wins Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill to knock Rory McIlroy off top

Via: SkySports Golf

Tiger Woods returned to world No 1 for the first time since October 2010 after winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Florida.

Photo: PGA Tour

Photo: PGA Tour

The 14-time major champion reclaimed his place at the summit by carding a closing 70 in Orlando, his two-under par round securing a two-shot triumph over Justin Rose, a third win of 2013 and an amazing eighth victory at Bay Hill.

His bid to knock Rory McIlroy off top spot had been held up on Sunday after a fierce storm caused play to be abandoned for the day with Woods three shots clear having played just two holes of his final round.

On Monday’s resumption, Woods was quickly into his stride and birdies at the two front nine par fives – the fourth and sixth – extended his lead to four shots.

A poor drive at the eighth led to a bogey but Tiger still had daylight over the field as he reached the turn still three in front of playing partner Rickie Fowler.

The youngster cut the gap to two by holing a 37 footer for birdie at the 12th but, in trademark Tiger fashion, Woods responded to the challenge just moments later by sinking a 25 footer of his own to restore his three-shot lead.

Fowler, who shot an 84 the last time he was paired with Woods in the final round, kept battling and nailed a 22 footer for birdie at 14 to keep the pressure on.

The pair both bogeyed 15 to keep the gap at two Fowler’s hopes went up in smoke at the par five 16th as he dumped two balls into the water to rack up a triple bogey eight.

That left halfway leader Rose as Woods’ nearest challenger but Tiger’s two-putt birdie at 16 ensured a three-shot cushion for the final two holes.

After a par at 17, Woods hit a loose tee-shot at 18 but, with strokes in hand, he was able to chip back onto the fairway and wrap up victory with a wedge and two putts.

The first almost completed victory in grandstand style as his 73 foot par putt missed by a fraction of an inch.

Runner-up Rose finished three in front of Fowler, Mark Wilson, Keegan Bradley and Spain’s Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano.