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Woods reclaims world number one spot

Tiger Woods (L) is presented with the trophy by Arnold Palmer at Bay Hill Golf and Country Club on March 25, 2013

ORLANDO, Florida - Tiger Woods reclaimed the world number one ranking for the first time since October 2010 with a closing round of two-under 70 to capture the PGA Tour’s Arnold Palmer Invitational on Monday.

With his eighth Bay Hill course triumph, the 37-year-old Woods replaces Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy atop the world rankings.

The 14-time major champion has previously spent a record 623 weeks on top of the world.

But he has not topped the rankings for nearly three years after injuries and an infamous sex scandal saw him tumble from the top 50.

Tiger Woods reacts to a birdie attempt on the 9th hole at the Bay Hill Club and Lodge on March 25, 2013 in Orlando

Woods claimed his 77th career PGA triumph – and 99th professional tournament win – in his final tuneup event for next month’s Masters.

In a rare Monday finish, due to a severe thunder storm that postponed Sunday’s round, Woods outduelled fellow American Rickie Fowler down the stretch winning by two strokes in the $6.2 million event.

Sunday’s storm swept across the Bay Hill Club & Lodge course in dramatic fashion with gusting winds toppling trees and television towers.

Woods and playing partner Fowler began Monday on the third hole and Woods quickly set the tone with birdies on a pair of par-fives, the No. 4 and No. 6 holes.

He finished on 18 with a bogey but it was enough to reach 13-under 275, giving him the win and propel him into No. 1 for the first time since 2010.

Runner-up Justin Rose fired a two-under 70 to finish at 11-under while Fowler stumbled down the stretch and closed with a one-over 73 to end in a four-way tie for third at eight-under 280.

Woods has now won 51 times in 55 tries when holding the lead entering the final round and is four wins shy of matching Sam Snead’s all-time record.

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