Tiger Woods regained golf's No. 1 ranking on Monday for the first time in 2½ years after once again holding sway on his favoured Bay Hill course.
Woods is now at the top of golf's rankings for the 11th separate time but for the first time since October 2010 after winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational for the eighth time at Bay Hill. He also won the 1991 U.S. junior championship on the course.
Woods saw his ranking fall as low as 58th in recent years after turmoil from his high-profile car crash, divorce and public revelations of infidelity. On the course, he's struggled at different times with his driver and his short game and overcome a significant knee injury.
Woods will now gun for his first major since the 2008 U.S. Open at the Masters in Augusta, Ga, April 11-14. He has prevailed four times at the Masters, but not since 2005.
Has the Palmer title traditionally served as a gateway to a Masters win for Woods?
Here are his winning scores in his seven previous triumphs at Bay Hill (as well as who finished second). The second line of the table indicates where Woods finished at that year's Masters, and who was the winner or next best golfer at the Augusta major.
Take a look:
|Palmer||18-under||Davis Love, 14-under|
|Masters||Tied for 5th||Winner: Vijay Singh|
|Palmer||15-under||Phil Mickelson, 14-under|
|Masters||WINNER, 16-under||David Duval, 2 shots back|
|Palmer||13-under||Michael Campbell, 9-under|
|Masters||WINNER, 12-under||Retief Goosen, 3 shots back|
|Palmer||19-under||4 tied at 8-under|
|Masters||Tied for 15th||Winner: Mike Weir|
|Palmer||18-under||Bart Bryant 17-under|
|Masters||2nd||Winner: Trevor Immelman, by 3|
|Palmer||5-under||Sean O'Hair 4-under|
|Masters||Tied for 6th||Winner: Angel Cabrera|
|Palmer||13-under||Graeme McDowell, 8-under|
|Masters||Tied for 40th||Winner: Bubba Watson|
|Palmer||13-under||Justin Rose, 11-under|