Tiger Woods won the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard on Monday for his 77th PGA TOUR victory.
Woods also won for the eighth time at Bay Hill, which matches Sam Snead's PGA TOUR record for the most wins at a single event.
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By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Tiger Woods is on top again.
Woods finished off a 2-under 70 Monday at Bay Hill, where he won his eighth Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard. The victory moves Woods to No. 1 in the FedExCup standings, and to No. 1 in the world for the first time since Oct. 31, 2010.
He also joins Sam Snead as the only other player to have won the same event eight times. It is Woods' third victory of the season and sixth in his last 19 stroke-play starts on the PGA TOUR.
"No, I didn't think anyone would (match that record)," Arnold Palmer said. "I don't see anyone touching that for a long time."
Justin Rose (70) finished second at 11 under.
Rickie Fowler, who was within two of Woods with three holes to play, tied for third after twice hitting into the water on the par-5 16th. He shot 73.
Though it had been three years since Woods was on top of golf -- at one point his world ranking sank as low as 58 -- his performance at Bay Hill was vintage.
Woods led the field in putting and was dominant on the par 5s, playing them in a collective 14 under, which included four birdies on Monday.
"The three events I've won, I've putted well," said Woods, who took just 110 putts for the week, fourth-fewest in the field. "To be that steady and hit the ball that solidly and that flush ... That feels good, especially when it's blowing like this."
Even Woods' competitors couldn't help but come away being impressed.
"I would say iron play and putting is looking fantastic," said Rose, who played alongside Woods the first two rounds at Bay Hill. "When he's got mid‑iron in his hand, there is nobody better.
"I thought on Friday, he could have shot 65; he shot 70. That was the day he let the round slip. But that just shows he's able to hit those quality shots and go low again."
In all of Woods' wins this season, he has had a comfortable lead on Sunday. That leaves Woods confident with the year's first major just two weeks away.
"I've turned some of the weaknesses that I had last year into strengths," he said. "I'm really excited about the rest of this year.
"The very beginning of the year I was excited because of how the end of last year turned. My short game came around, I thought my swing was getting better, my short irons got better, lo and behold, I won a few tournaments this year."
And it's only March.
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Last summer, Rickie Fowler and Tiger Woods played in the penultimate group in the final round of the Memorial tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance.
Fowler shot 84, Woods 67 as Woods went on to win.
Going into the final round here at Bay Hill, Fowler said he was looking for "a little redemtpion." So far, he hasn't backed down. Woods and Fowler are separated by just two shots with four to play here at the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard.
We'll follow them down the stretch with updates below:
1:20 p.m.: Things just went from bad to worse for Fowler on the par-5 16th. After hitting his approach into the water on the par 5, he took a drop and hit a wedge fat, dumping it in the water again before making an 8 to fall back to 8 under and six back of Woods. Meanwhile, Woods two-putted for birdie and leads by three over Justin Rose.
1:10 p.m.: Trailing Woods by two, Fowler went at the flag on the par-5 16th but came up short, his ball finding the water and with it his chances for a win probably sinking. Plaing from a fairway bunker and 30 yards closer, Woods lashed it out, his tongue hanging out in Jordan-esque fashion, and watched as his ball landed on the green 35 feet from the hole.
12:58 p.m.: After both found trouble on their approaches on the 15th -- Woods landed in a greenside bunker right, then Fowler missed the green left -- each had 12 feet to salvage par. Fowler missed his save, but so did Woods. The lead is still two for Woods.
12:45 p.m.: Fowler just rolled in a 23-footer after sinking a 37-footer for birdie two holes earlier. Woods, meanwhile, managed just a par on No. 12 and his lead down to two.
Scoring is always very tough at Bay Hill – it’s that kind of golf course – and we had some challenging conditions this year. The wind was blowing hard on day one and it was also quite cool, then it rained on Friday, but there was still a score out there. It’s not acceptable to me to shoot a pair of 75s and miss the cut.
So far this year I’ve played some decent golf in parts, but I’m not quite there on the consistency front. All you can do is keep working hard, though. As we saw last year, your fortunes can change quickly in this game.
On Sunday I set out from Florida to Thailand for this week’s inaugural Chiangmai Golf Classic presented by PTT. I hear that the venue for this tournament, the Alpine Golf Resort, is really beautiful. Looking back I’ve had great experiences when visiting Thailand and especially enjoyed the warm hospitality of the Thai people and their wonderful cuisine. I’m sure the local golf fans will come out and support what is a landmark event for golf in Northern Thailand. As Open champion I’m excited to be a part of it and I look forward to sharing some of my experiences with you.
After this tournament finishes I have an SAP function in New York, including tickets to see the Yankees play the Red Sox on the opening game of the season. Then it’s back to Florida to work on my game at the Bear’s Club and get ready for a return to Augusta the following week. I can’t wait to get back there again.
Bye for now.
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Rickie Fowler drained a 37-foot birdie putt on the par-5 12th, which pulled him to within two of leader Tiger Woods.
As Fowler reached down to pull his ball out of the cup, he glanced in the direction of Woods.
Any elation Fowler was feeling was short-lived, however. Woods poured in a 27-foot birdie of his own, raising his putter skyward as the ball fell in.
It was the fourth birdie of the day for Woods, who continues to lead by three a the moment over Fowler, and four over Justin Rose.
Woods is now 13 under on the par 5s this week with eight birdies, three eagles and just one bogey.
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Tiger Woods is still in the lead and in position for his eighth title at Bay Hill, but he had his first hiccup of the day on the par-4 eighth, where he drove it into trouble on the right and was forced to chip back into the fairway. Woods then missed a 12-footer to save par, making his first bogey of the day before making the turn in 2 under.
Meanwhile, Justin Rose and Rickie Fowler have moevd within three of Woods.
Rose has birdied three of his last five holes, while Fowler, who is playing alongside Woods, has eight pars and one birdie. The latter came on the par-4 ninth, where Fowler rolled one in off the fringe from just inside 30 feet.
Four others, including Keegan Bradley, are another stroke back at 9 under.
Tiger Woods got off to a fast start Monday, rolling in birdies on the par-5 fourth and sixth holes.
ORLANDO, Fla. -- One of the hallmarks of Tiger Woods' career has been his dominance on par 5s.
This week at Bay Hill has been no different.
Woods just birdied the par-5 sixth, getting up and down from a greenside bunker, to get to 14 under and four shots clear of his closest competitor at the moment, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano.
Woods has played the par 5s here at Bay Hill in a combined 12 under with seven birdies, including two today, three eagles and one bogey.
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Tiger Woods has feasted on the par 5s at Bay Hill through the years.
Monday was no different with Woods birdieing the par-5 fourth for the third time this week.
Woods hit an indifferent chip shot to 12 feet after coming up just short of the green with his second shot on the 565-yard, but his putting has been superb again this week and he made the putt.
As a result, Woods is back to a three-shot lead after Keegan Bradley had briefly pulled within two after a birdie of his own on the hole.
Woods has now played his last 22 holes here at Bay Hill in 8 under with seven birdies, an eagle and one bogey.
Four others, including Rickie Fowler, are currently four shots back of Woods.