With the Augusta Masters just around the corner, Tiger Woods chose Bay Hill as the place to remind the golf world of his talents.
Once a permanent presence at the top of the golf world rankings, the 37-year-old had not looked down on the rest since October 2010, with countless reasons veering him off course.
But victory in the rain-delayed fourth round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational yesterday – his eighth win there – sent him above Rory McIlroy and back into the number one spot.
It will mean that next week will be his 624th as the top dog and he says there is no secret as to why he is back at the summit.
"It's a by-product of hard work, patience and getting back to winning golf tournaments," he said.
Woods dressed in his usual final round golf clothing, a red Nike golf shirt, won the event two shots clear of Justin Rose, the Englishman who is now in the best position of his career at world number 3.
It’s five years since Wood’s last claimed a major title. He stands with 14 titles to his name but is not entertaining the critics who say he has to make it 15 before he can be considered 'back'.
"It's up to them. It's their opinion, I'm very pleased with the way I'm playing," he added.
"It's been a few years since I've felt this good.
"I've turned some of the weaknesses that I had last year into strengths. 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."
His run of poor form saw him go as low as number 58 in the world, but this was his third victory of the year and his sixth dating back to another victory at Bay Hill a year ago.
Final round challenger Rose commented "He plays every shot like he plays them on Sunday," Rose said.
"His intensity is the same on Thursday often as it is on Sunday, and that makes Sunday a lot less different for him.
"He plays in that kind of atmosphere far more regularly than a lot of guys do, and it's an adjustment for most of us. It's a known for him."
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