Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Tiger on the prowl for No.1 spot

updated 6:59 PM EDT, Sat March 23, 2013
Tiger Woods will go into Sunday's final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational with a two-shot lead.
Tiger Woods will go into Sunday's final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational with a two-shot lead.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Tiger Woods takes a two-shot lead into final round of Arnold Palmier Invitational
  • Woods will regain World No.1 spot with victory at Bay Hill
  • Woods last held top ranking back in October 2010
  • Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler and John Huh in chasing pack

(CNN) -- When Tiger Woods announced he was dating ski star Lindsey Vonn, his rivals might have hoped that his form would go downhill.

But just five days after breaking the news, Woods is on the verge of scaling his own mountain and finally reaching the summit -- the No.1 ranking.

Not since October 2010 has Woods held top spot, a position he commanded for 281 weeks before a marital scandal which ended in divorce.

In all, Woods has spent a record 623 weeks at the top -- a record he will extend further with victory in Orlando.

Read: Tiger vows to 'clean up' after more late lapses at Bay Hill

Living Golf meets Bubba
Phelps rejects swimming comeback
Distraction: Tiny golf prodigy

And after firing a six-under 66 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, the 37-year-old appears set to replace Rory McIlroy as the game's leading player.

A two-shot lead over his nearest rivals Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler and John Huh was carved out at Bay Hill, a course where he has already won seven titles.

Ominously for the chasing pack, on the 54 occasions Woods has taken a lead into a final round, he has triumphed 50 times.

Read: Vonn revelation 'thwarted stalkerazzi'

And with a score of 11-under on the board, it was little surprise that 14-time major winner Woods was delighted with his performance.

"I played halfway decent today and hit a lot of good shots," he told Sky Sports.

"I made a few putts which was key today and I'm very pleased I picked up towards the middle part of the round."

Read: Donald makes shock exit

Woods believes his experience at competing at the Florida course will give him an advantage over his challengers when he heads out to finish the job Sunday.

"Once we figure out what a golf course is like we figure out how to play on them and that's been the case in my scheduling," he added.

"Over the course of my career I've played well on a few courses and this is one of them."

The past 12 months have seen a real upturn in fortunes for Woods, who has won five titles including victories at Torrey Pines and Doral.

Success on Sunday would make him the first player to win the same PGA event on eight occasions.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 8:51 AM EDT, Fri September 12, 2014
It's a big dilemma: Be with your wife for the birth of your first child, or stay at work and try to earn $11 million. For Billy Horschel, it's a no-brainer.
updated 7:40 AM EDT, Fri September 12, 2014
She's just 19 but Hyo Joo Kim is already showing she's ready for the big time after recording the lowest ever round at a major championship.
updated 1:06 PM EDT, Wed September 10, 2014
Masters champion Bubba Watson says winning the $10 million FedEx Cup jackpot would bring forward his retirement from the game.
updated 7:31 AM EDT, Fri September 12, 2014
EVIAN-LES-BAINS, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 15: A view of the 14th green during the third round of The Evian Championship at the Evian Resort Golf Club on September 15, 2013 in Evian-les-Bains, France. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
The world's top women golfers will be chasing a $3.25 million prize purse at one of the most stunning courses on the LPGA Tour.
updated 8:19 AM EDT, Wed September 3, 2014
Tom Watson selects Keegan Bradley, Hunter Mahan and Webb Simpson as his wildcard picks for the Ryder Cup contest with Europe.
updated 9:52 AM EDT, Tue September 2, 2014
Ian Poulter kept Europe clinging on in their Ryder Cup battle with the United States in Chicago.
Ian Poulter, who has constantly haunted the U.S. in Ryder Cup golf, is back after being chosen as a wildcard by European captain Paul McGinley.
updated 11:40 AM EDT, Mon August 25, 2014
Tiger Woods has split with his longtime coach Sean Foley after not winning a major during their four-year tenure.
updated 7:05 AM EDT, Mon August 11, 2014
Success just keeps on coming for Rory McIlroy, but the world No. 1 is already targeting more titles following his second PGA Championship win.
updated 10:24 AM EDT, Fri August 8, 2014
From Seve's "spine-shivering" moment to Jack Nicklaus' "perfect explosion," David Cannon has captured many of golf's defining images.
updated 9:20 AM EDT, Thu August 7, 2014
They came home as casualties of war -- physically shattered and mentally broken. But golf is proving to be an unlikely salvation for U.S. veterans.
updated 8:31 AM EDT, Tue August 5, 2014
You are the one hitting the shots, but the man standing over your shoulder could hold the key to your golfing destiny.
updated 8:27 AM EDT, Mon July 21, 2014
PINEHURST, NC - JUNE 10: Rory McIlroy (R) of Northern Ireland talks with his dad Gerry McIlroy (L) during a practice round prior to the start of the 114th U.S. Open at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club, Course No. 2 on June 10, 2014 in Pinehurst, North Carolina. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
He has been there for all three of his son's major wins, but the latest triumph may well have been the sweetest yet for Rory McIlroy's father.
ADVERTISEMENT