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Tiger Woods back at No. 1: Bay Hill win prelude to the Masters?

Tiger Woods secured his eighth Arnold Palmer Invitational championship on Monday to regain golf's No. 1 ranking. Find out how often he's won the Masters after winning at Bay Hill.
Tiger Woods never relinquished his lead when play resumed Monday at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, securing his eighth championship at the event. (Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

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:

2000

TournamentTigerCompetition
Palmer18-underDavis Love, 14-under
MastersTied for 5thWinner: Vijay Singh

 

2001

TournamentTigerCompetition
Palmer15-underPhil Mickelson, 14-under
MastersWINNER, 16-underDavid Duval, 2 shots back

 

2002

TournamentTigerCompetition
Palmer13-underMichael Campbell, 9-under
MastersWINNER, 12-underRetief Goosen, 3 shots back

 

2003

TournamentTigerCompetition
Palmer19-under4 tied at 8-under
MastersTied for 15thWinner: Mike Weir

 

2008

TournamentTigerCompetition
Palmer18-underBart Bryant 17-under
Masters2ndWinner: Trevor Immelman, by 3

 

2009

TournamentTigerCompetition
Palmer5-underSean O'Hair 4-under
MastersTied for 6thWinner: Angel Cabrera

 

2012

TournamentTigerCompetition
Palmer13-underGraeme McDowell, 8-under
MastersTied for 40thWinner: Bubba Watson

 

2013

TournamentTigerCompetition
Palmer13-underJustin Rose, 11-under
Masters??????