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Tiger tames the Blue Monster to take 17th WGC title

updated 12:26 PM EDT, Mon March 11, 2013
Tiger Woods took the WGC Championship in Florida to set him up perfectly for the Masters in April
Tiger Woods took the WGC Championship in Florida to set him up perfectly for the Masters in April
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Tiger Woods wins the World Golf Championship title by two shots in Florida
  • World No. 2 out in front all Sunday to finish two clear of Steve Stricker
  • Rory McIlroy fires final round 65 to shoot up leaderboard to eighth
  • First major of the year, the Masters at Augusta, arrives next month

(CNN) -- Tiger Woods tuned up perfectly for the forthcoming Masters with a two-shot victory at the WGC Championship in Florida as he edged closer to overhauling the world No. 1 Rory McIlroy.

The 14-time major champion started the final round at the Blue Monster course at Doral with a four-shot lead and never looked like relinquishing it, despite the best efforts of Phil Mickelson and Steve Stricker.

The world No. 2 dropped a shot on the final hole to finish on 19-under-par, two clear of Stricker, who had given Woods a few putting tips before the tournament started and might now wish he hadn't.

It was Woods' seventh triumph in the Cadillac Championship, his 17th World Golf Championship and his 76th PGA Tour title.

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"I played well this week," Woods said at the trophy presentation. "Thank you to Steve for the putting lesson. It was one of those weeks where I felt pretty good about how I was playing. I made some putts and pretty much got rolling."

The 2010 U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell started the final round in second but endured a testing afternoon, dropping back to 14-under as he finished in third alongside Phil Mickelson, Spaniard Sergio Garcia and Australian Adam Scott.

Woods carded three birdies in his first ten holes but dropped two shots on the closing holes, including on the final hole.

Yet he looks to have regained some of his best form with the first major tournament of the year -- The Masters at Augusta -- just round the corner.

McIlroy, who caused controversy by walking off the course during last week's Honda Classic was back to his best form, firing a seven-under-par round of 65 as he charged up the leaderboard to finish in a tie for eighth place.

"I was pretty down about my game coming into this week," McIlroy told the PGA Tour's official website. "A day like today felt like a long way away if I'm honest."

"A few days like I've played, it does my confidence a world of good. I probably wear my heart on my sleeve a bit with my golf. If I have a bad round, it's sort of like the end of the world, but if I play a good one, I'm happy again.

"I always think when I'm playing bad that it's further away than it is," McIlroy added. "That's just where I have to stay patient and let whatever happens, happen, and know that if I put in the hard work, that the results will bear fruit; whether that's sooner or later, it doesn't really matter."

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