How it happened: Woods back to No. 1 with Bay Hill title

Tiger Woods hits his tee shot at No. 3 on Monday at Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill.

Tiger Woods hits his tee shot at No. 3 on Monday at Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill.

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12:24:01 PM ET. 04/17/2014




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ORLANDO, Fla. -- Tiger Woods is back on top.

He's back on top of the Arnold Palmer Invitational for the eighth time.

He's back to No. 1 in the Official World Golf Rankings for the first time since 2010.

And he appears to be back in top form – just in time for the Masters.

Woods fired a 2-under 70 Monday to secure a two-shot victory over Justin Rose at Bay Hill, winning his third PGA Tour title of the 2013 season.

"I am very pleased with the way I am playing," said Woods.

See how it all unfolded Monday in the weather-delayed conclusion:

• • •

Hole No. 18: Par 4, 458 yards

Tiger has some breathing room heading to the 72nd hole, leading Justin Rose by three shots.

Hole wrap-up: Tiger sends his tee ball well right, going into the gallery on the fly. He lays up with his second shot out of the long rough, putting it on the left side of the fairway. A simple chip to the middle of the green leaves him 50 feet for par.

And he nearly drains it, leaving it on the lip. A tap-in delivers his third PGA Tour title of the season.

TIGER ON THE ROUND: 2 under (13 under for tournament)

Elsewhere on the course: Justin Rose gives his birdie try on 18 a good run, but settles for a par and finishes at 11 under.

• • •

Hole No. 17: Par 3, 221 yards

What a turn of events, as Tiger Woods carries a three-shot lead into the final two holes after Fowler's misfortunes on 16.

Hole wrap-up: Tiger hits a beautiful 4-iron to about 15 feet below the hole at 17. Tiger's birdie putt hits the right lip and he settles for a two-putt par.

TIGER ON THE ROUND: 3 under (14 under for tournament)

• • •

Hole No. 16: Par 5, 511 yards

That pair of bogeys changes the equation to again include Justin Rose, who is playing the par-5 16th ahead of the final group. Tiger's lead remains two over Fowler.

Hole wrap-up: Fowler splits the fairway with driver, Tiger finds a fairway bunker on the right. Advantage Fowler. But he puts his second shot in the water, while Tiger grabs an 8-iron and puts his second ball in the middle of the green. Advantage Tiger. Fowler drops back in the fairway and puts another ball in the water. He can only hang his head after that one. His sixth shot finds the fringe.

Tiger's eagle putt settles about a foot above the hole and he taps in for birdie. Fowler two-putts for a triple bogey to fall to 8 under.

Tiger's lead is three after Justin Rose saves par on 17.

TIGER ON THE ROUND: 3 under (14 under for tournament)

• • •

Hole No. 15: Par 4, 429 yards

And we have a ballgame, as Rickie Fowler is 3 under over his last six holes to cut Tiger's lead to two shots with four to play.

Hole wrap-up: Fowler finds the first cut of rough on the left, while Tiger takes 3-wood and finds the left side of the fairway. A little twirl of the club too. Tiger's approach finds a greenside bunker, and he knew it was short immediately. But Fowler doesn't take advantage, going left of the green and up against the collar. Tiger gets a good lie in the bunker, but sends it about 10 feet past the hole. Fowler's chip runs about 12 feet past the hole. Fowler's par putt slides by on the right and picks up his first bogey of the day. Tiger misses his par putt as well, and the lead remains two.

TIGER ON THE ROUND: 2 under (13 under for tournament)

• • •

Hole No. 14: Par 3, 215 yards

Both Tiger and Fowler thought they had good chances at birdie on No. 13, but settled for pars. Tiger is three ahead with five holes to play.

Hole wrap-up: Very nice tee ball from Fowler leaves him about 20 feet from the left of the hole, while Tiger takes 5-iron and comes up well short of the green. Tiger knocks his chip to about 3 feet past the hole. Solid effort. Moments later, Fowler gets his birdie putt to drop, with the ball circling around the cup and falling. Tiger makes his par, but his lead slips to two.

TIGER ON THE ROUND: 3 under (14 under for tournament)

• • •

Hole No. 13: Par 4, 370 yards

Wow, that was incredible by both Tiger and Fowler on No. 12. Fowler is definitely not going away and is 2 under over his last four holes.

Hole wrap-up: Tiger rips an iron off the tee at the short par-4, putting it on the right side of the fairway. Fowler is in the middle. From 120 yards, Tiger nearly puts it in the hole, only to have it spin back off the green and settle in the rough. Fowler will have about 20 feet from behind the hole. Tiger chips from the fringe and just misses on the left and settles for par. Fowler two-putts for a par as well. Lead remains three.

TIGER ON THE ROUND: 3 under (14 under for tournament)

• • •

Hole No. 12: Par 5, 574 yards

That was a nerve-tester for Tiger, and he passes the test with a huge par save on No. 11. Three shots ahead with seven to play.

Hole wrap-up: Tiger pulls driver and hammers it down the middle of the fairway. Perfect drive. Tiger chooses to lay up and not take any chances, setting himself up on the left side of the fairway. Fowler does the same. From just under 120 yards, Tiger leaves his third shot about 20 feet under the hole. Fowler will have 30 feet. Fowler buries his lengthy birdie putt to get to 11 under, but Tiger matches it and keeps his three-shot lead. Raises his arms in the air as it drops.

TIGER ON THE ROUND: 3 under (14 under for tournament)

Elsewhere on the course: Justin Rose misses a chance to get closer to Tiger, picking up par on the par-5 12th to stay at 10 under.

• • •

Hole No. 11: Par 4, 438 yards

Tiger is making a few conservative decisions today, including taking iron at No. 10. He is going to make the field come get him, but they are running out of holes.

Hole wrap-up: Another iron here for Tiger, and he hammers it down the middle of the fairway. A little extra follow through there too. Fowler also in the middle with fairway metal. From 165 yards, Tiger hits a solid shot into the green and will have a mid-range putt for birdie. A very poor birdie putt from Tiger stays 6 feet short. Very poor effort, but buries the par putt to maintain a three-shot lead. Big save there.

TIGER ON THE ROUND: 2 under (13 under for tournament)

• • •

Hole No. 10: Par 4, 400 yards

Rickie Fowler just made it a bit more interesting with that birdie at No. 9, cutting Tiger's lead to three with nine holes to play.

Hole wrap-up: Tiger plays a low-stinger, but pulls it into the left rough, just shy of a fairway bunker. He doesn't seem too bothered by it, as it is sitting up nicely. Fowler finds the fairway. From just over 160 yards, Tiger puts his approach in the middle of the green, about 30 feet behind the hole. A solid lag putt leaves Tiger about 18 inches for par, which he knocks in. Fowler misses a 10-footer for birdie to stay three back.

TIGER ON THE ROUND: 2 under (13 under for tournament)

Elsewhere on the course: Justin Rose joins Rickie Fowler at 10 under with a birdie at No. 10. Rose is 3 under over his last five holes.

• • •

Hole No. 9: Par 4, 474 yards

For the first time in the round, Fowler will have the honors off the tee. Tiger let his anger get the better of him in the fairway on No. 8, but still did well to post bogey.

Hole wrap-up: With driver in hand, Tiger pushes his tee ball way right, losing grip on the club and letting it fly forward. He gets a bit lucky, finding a trampled area right of the rough for his second and Tiger gets it on the front of the green. He nearly makes another birdie bomb, with the ball cutting just under the hole and he settles for par. Fowler makes birdie to cut Tiger's lead to three.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 2 under (13 under for tournament)

Elsewhere on the course: After falling back to 7 under, Justin Rose birdies both No. 6 and No. 8 to get back to 9 under, tied with four others in third place.

• • •

Hole No. 8: Par 4, 460 yards

Tiger is reacting like he thinks he can make any putt on these greens. He has parred No. 8 all three days.

Hole wrap-up: First poor shot from Tiger of the round, sending his iron into the right rough and might have tree problems. He does have to knock it out sideways after the ball comes to rest next to the tree. He's pretty angry after that one. From just over 160 yards with his third, Tiger hits a nice ball to about 10 feet left of the hole. Tiger thinks he has this putt, but it cuts under the hole and he picks up his first bogey of the round. He still leads by four, now over six players.

TIGER ON THE ROUND: 2 under (13 under for tournament)

Elsewhere on the course: Both Mark Wilson (No. 11) and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (No. 9) bogey to fall back to 9 under.

• • •

Hole No. 7: Par 3, 199 yards

Tiger is now 12 under on the par-5s this week and has extended his lead to four shots.

Hole wrap-up: With a smooth swing, Tiger plays it safely into the green, leaving himself 25 feet left of the hole. Tiger gives his birdie putt a good run, but misses right and taps in for par.

TIGER ON THE ROUND: 3 under (14 under for tournament)

Elsewhere on the course: Mark Wilson birdies the par-4 10th to join Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano at 10 under.

• • •

Hole No. 6: Par 5, 555 yards

With a three-shot lead on a tough track, it'll be interesting to see how many chances Tiger takes on par-5s. Water can be in play here at the 6th.

Hole wrap-up: With driver, Tiger hits the right side of the fairway, although he doesn't like it at all. Tiger takes 3-iron from the fairway and finds a bunker at the front of the green. A fantastic, long bunker shot leaves Tiger with about 4 feet for birdie. He puts the birdie putt in the heart of the cup and extends his lead to four shots.

TIGER ON THE ROUND: 3 under (14 under for tournament)

Elsewhere on the course: Keegan Bradley (on No. 9) and Ken Duke (No. 8) both bogey to drop back to 9 under, leaving Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano alone in second at 10 under.

• • •

Hole No. 5: Par 4, 390 yards

Tiger is looking giddy on the greens nowadays, like he sees the putt dropping before he hits it. Great birdie there at No. 4.

Hole wrap-up: Iron off the tee here for Tiger and it finds the middle of the fairway at the short par-4. From 165 yards, Tiger hits a nice shot to about 18 feet under the hole. Another good birdie look. Tiger's putt comes up about a foot short and he settles for an easy par.

TIGER ON THE ROUND: 2 under (13 under for tournament)

Elsewhere on the course: Ken Duke moves to 10 under with a birdie at the par-3 7th and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano makes one at the par-5 6th to join Keegan Bradley in second.

• • •

Hole No. 4: Par 5, 561 yards

Solid opening hole for Tiger, although making that 12-footer would have sent a loud message. Tiger maintains his three-shot advantage heading to his first par-5 of the day.

Hole wrap-up: Tiger takes out the big stick and hammers it up the left side of the fairway. Should be go time. With no roll due to wet grounds, Tiger has more than 280 to the hole and hammers his second ball with a fairway metal, coming up just short of the green. Tiger's chip is only so-so, as it settles 12 feet left of the hole. He buries the putt to regain a three-shot advantage, now over Keegan Bradley. Fowler pars after finding trouble with his second shot.

TIGER ON THE ROUND: 2 under (13 under for tournament)

Elsewhere on the course: Keegan Bradley birdies the par-5 6th to move to 10 under, alone in second place. Mark Wilson opens his day with a birdie at No. 6 to move to 9 under, joining Thorbjorn Olesen, Rickie Fowler, Ken Duke and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano in third.

• • •

Hole No. 3: Par 4, 434 yards

The temperatures are brisk in Orlando, with a light wind causing most players to wear sweater vests. Forecasts are calling for a high of 70 today, with no chance of rain. Workers did an incredible job overnight clearing the course, with the wind taking care a lot of the standing water on the course.

Hole wrap-up: Tiger is wearing a red shirt under a black sweater. He takes his red 5-wood and gives his club a twirl, finding the middle of the fairway. He found the water left on Friday. Fowler finds the right rough. Tiger's approach sticks about 12 feet under the hole. Tiger walks after it immediately, not liking the line and taps in for par. Fowler gets up-and-down from a greenside bunker for par as well.

TIGER ON THE ROUND: 1 under (12 under for tournament)

• • •

From Sunday:

Hole No. 2: Par 3, 231 yards

After a less-than-stellar tee ball, Tiger did well to save par at the opening hole, as did Fowler after his poor birdie putt.

Hole wrap-up: With 8-iron in hand, Tiger gets it inside of 10 feet. He poses after that tee ball, liking it right away. Fowler nearly hits Tiger's ball on the green and both are looking at good birdie opportunities. Tiger putts first and buries his birdie attempt to move to 12 under. Fowler can't follow suit and Tiger's lead is now three.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under (12 under for tournament)

• • •

Hole No. 1: Par 4, 461 yards

It's typical red shirt and black slacks for Tiger, who is surrounded by a gigantic gallery that may have some allegiance to his playing competitor, Rickie Fowler.

Hole wrap-up: Not the start that Tiger was looking for, taking iron off the tee, only to find the left rough. Tiger plays a low-liner that runs up onto the green. Nice second shot. Fowler gets just inside of him on the green after his tee ball hits a right fairway bunker. From about 40 feet, Tiger hits a nice lag and makes an 18-incher for par. Fowler sends his birdie putt about 8 feet past, but makes the comebacker to stay at 9 under.

TIGER ON THE DAY: Even (11 under for tournament)

• • •

Sunday coverage

WICKED WEATHER: Officials called play at the Arnold Palmer Invitaional for the day after a tornado watch went into effect for Orange County, bringing huge gusts of wind and torrential downpours. Play will continue at 10 a.m. on Monday. Story.

TRACKER: After tornado-like storms passed through Bay Hill on Sunday, play has been canceled for the day and players will return to their positions on the course at 10 a.m. EDT on Monday. Tiger Woods leads by three. See how it all unfolded.

• • •

Saturday coverage

TEE TIMES: Here are the final-round tee times and pairings for the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill. Pairings.

5 THINGS: After three rounds of the Arnold Palmer Invitational, a familiar face sits atop the leaderboard. But some big names lurk close behind Tiger Woods, including Rickie Fowler, who will look to reverse his recent final-round troubles. Story.

TRACKER: Tiger Woods fired a 6-under 66 - including his third eagle of the week - to jump into the lead at the Arnold Palmer Invitational on Saturday. See how it all happened.

MARCH MADNESS: Tiger Woods was less-than-thrilled with his bogey-bogey-bogey finish on Friday. So, he went home and watched college basketball. All of it. On Saturday, he returned as the terminator, taking control of a tournament that he simply owns. Story.

BACK IN IT: Using a new putter and hitting fairway after fairway, Keegan Bradley seems to have figured out the tough Bay Hill track and is now in contention to make a run on Sunday at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Story.

• • •

Friday coverage

5 THINGS: Justin Rose and Bill Haas are your co-leaders halfway through the Arnold Palmer Invitational. The pair is at 9-under 135, one shot ahead of the reigning rookie of the year John Huh. Here’s 5 Things you need to know from the second round at Bay Hill. Story.

TRACKER: Tiger Woods closed with three straight bogeys to finish with a 2-under 70 Friday at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. He'll enter the weekend five shots back of leader Justin Rose. See how it all unfolded Friday at Bay Hill.

TEE TIMES: Take a look at the tee times and pairings for the third round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill Lodge & Club. Pairings.

A FIRST? Bill Haas, who attended Wake Forest on an Arnold Palmer Scholarship, shot a bogey-free 66 Friday morning and is in position to become the first scholarship recipient to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational in the 35 years it has been played at Palmer’s Bay Hill Club & Lodge. Story.

FOILED BY HIS FLATSTICK: Phil Mickelson’s trip to Bay Hill Club & Lodge was a littler shorter than he expected. After rounds of 73-79, Mickelson is on his way to see swing coach Butch Harmon before heading to Houston next week. Story.

LESSON LEARNED: Credit K.J. Choi for a large part of John Huh’s success this week. A five-hour bunker lesson at Choi’s home club in Texas has led to a perfect 5 for 5 in sand saves at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. It helped vault Huh to a 8-under 136, one shot behind Bill Haas early Friday. Story.

THAT'S WHAT HE SAID: The conditions are near perfect at Bay Hill – temperatures in the 70s, clear skies and a light breeze – in what promises to be another interesting day at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Here's what the players are saying after their rounds. Story.

• • •

Thursday coverage

5 THINGS: Justin Rose took a two-shot lead after the first round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational while Tiger Woods is lurking and Phil Mickelson and Brandt Snedeker are struggling. Story.

TRACKER: Tiger Woods, searching for a second straight title and eighth overall at Bay Hill, fired an opening-round 69 Thursday morning. He trails leader Justin Rose by four shots. See how it happened!

TEE TIMES: A look at the first- and second-round tee times and pairings for the 2013 Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill in Orlando, Fla. Pairings.

TEACHING TIGER: Tiger Woods didn't like his drives or his irons, his distance or his trajectory Thursday. Sure, he putted well, but he trails Justin Rose - who put together a complete round - by four shots at Bay Hill. Column.

FEELING THE PAIN: Playing through a neck injury that he sustained picking up a towel coming out of the shower in Los Angeles, Bill Haas challenges for lead, only to fall back with two closing bogeys. Story.

ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT: An equipment change and high expectations played into John Huh's early-season struggles, but his 5-under 67 on Thursday at the Arnold Palmer Invitational showed glimpses of having a bit of fun again. Story.

LEARNING ON THE FLY: Recent Dartmouth grad Peter Williamson shot an 11-over 83 at Bay Hill Club & Lodge on Thursday during the first round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational in his first PGA Tour start. Story.

NOTEBOOK: Sean O'Hair, taking advantage of a sponsor exemption that he wrote and asked Arnold Palmer to extend, and Ryo Ishikawa shoot 69s at Bay Hill to put missed cuts out of mind. Story.

THAT'S WHAT HE SAID: With the morning wave facing windy and cold conditions, but the course drying out before the afternoon groups, it promises to be an interesting day at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Here's what the players atop the leaderboard are saying . . . Story.

• • •

Pre-tournament coverage

TEE TIMES: A look at the first- and second-round tee times and pairings for the 2013 Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill in Orlando, Fla. Pairings.

BACK TO THE TOP? Tiger Woods could return to No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking with a win this week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Rory McIlroy’s early-season struggles and Woods’ two wins have put the top spot back within Woods' reach. Story.

HOLDING COURT: From Tiger Woods to Kate Upton, iced tea to anchoring putters, Arnold Palmer still has opinions to share. Story.

65 YEARS AND COUNTING: Dow Finsterwald, who forged a friendly rivalry with Arnold Palmer 65 years ago, has seen the game’s most beloved ambassador at his best. Story.

PREDICTIONS: It will come as no shock that Tiger Woods is the overwhelming favorite at this week's Arnold Palmer Invitational. But our panel thinks there are a couple of other big names to keep an eye on as well. Predictions . . .

BACK IN ACTION: A pulled rib muscle got Brandt Snedeker out of lifting boxes while his family moved into a new home. Healthy and back on the PGA Tour, he's ready to attack Bay Hill – and Augusta too. Story.

MAN IN DEMAND: Reigning U.S. Amateur champion Steven Fox has played in only two spring college tournaments, and his schedule isn't looking much better for the rest of the season. Story.

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