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Tiger Woods Back On Top: Bay Hill Win Catapults Him To No. 1

Tiger Woods plays a shot on the 5th hole during the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational at  Bay Hill in Orlando, Florida.
Sam Greenwood
Getty Images
Tiger Woods plays a shot on the 5th hole during the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill in Orlando, Florida.

Tiger Woods is back on top. With his victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill, Woods is now ranked the No. 1 player in the world.

As The Washington Post explains, this is the first time Woods is at the top since both his personal life and his professional life crumbled following a 2009 cheating scandal that ended in divorce and a plummet from the top of the golf world.

The Post says:

"This No. 1 Woods was relaxed, happy and confident at Bay Hill. Not even missing a long, initial putt on the 18th green could bother him. He just grinned, couldn't believe he'd missed and bit his putter. Woods finished with a final-round 2-under 790, 13 under par and two shots ahead of Justin Rose. 'I play well here,' he told the Golf Channel with a smile, 'and that's about as simple as it gets.'

For the 11th time, he's ranked first in the world. 'It was just a byproduct, a byproduct of hard work and getting back to winning golf tournaments,' he said. 'Consequently, I've moved up.'"

Woods' personal life also seems back on track. As we reported earlier this month, Woods announced that he and Olympic ski racer Lindsey Vonn were dating.

USA Todaytells the story of Woods' career through a series of numbers:

"77 ... PGA Tour wins, five behind all-time leader Sam Snead.

"42-2 ... His record when he has the lead entering the final round.

"8 ... Titles at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, equaling Snead for the most titles ever at a single tournament.

"3 ... Victories in 2013.

"1 ... His world ranking, the first time he will be at the top since Oct. 30, 2010."

Woods' next challenge is trying to win his first major since he won the U.S. Open in 2008.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.
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