Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Severe storms delay Tiger's No. 1 bid; Garcia uses 'tree iron'

updated 6:15 PM EDT, Sun March 24, 2013
Fans seek shelter during the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational at the Bay Hill Club and Lodge in Orlando, Florida.
Fans seek shelter during the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational at the Bay Hill Club and Lodge in Orlando, Florida.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Wild weather in Florida halts Tiger Woods' charge towards an eighth Bay Hill victory
  • Woods will return to the No. 1 ranking for first time in more than two years if he wins
  • The 14-time major winner extends his lead to three shots after playing two holes Sunday
  • Sergio Garcia withdraws from tournament, having earlier climbed a tree to dislodge ball

(CNN) -- Tiger Woods' bid to regain the world No. 1 golf ranking has been delayed by thunder storms which have pushed the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational tournament to Monday.

Woods played just two holes Sunday before the downpour began, but the defending champion had managed to extend his lead to three shots as he seeks to regain the coveted top spot he surrendered on October 31, 2010 after holding it for 281 consecutive weeks.

In all, the 37-year-old has been No. 1 for a record 623 weeks -- but he dropped as low as 58th following his extramarital affairs, subsequent divorce and a run of injuries before bouncing back with five tournament wins in the past 12 months.

The last of his 14 major titles came back in 2008, but his recent form suggests that Woods will be a top contender at next month's Masters.

The American has won four tournaments seven times -- including this one -- but victory on Monday would make him only the second player alongside the legendary Sam Snead to win the same event on eight occasions.

Living Golf meets Bubba
Kaymer's magical Medinah putt
Golfer: I went into survival mode
Should anchored putting be banned?

A birdie at his second hole on Sunday gave Woods a handy buffer over 2011 PGA Championship winner Keegan Bradley and fellow U.S. players Rickie Fowler, Ken Duke and John Huh.

He has won 50 of the 54 times in which he has taken the lead into the final round.

Read: 'Asia's John Daly' denies Ryder Cup winner

The PGA Tour's website reported that the thunderstorms in Orlando, Florida were so severe that the large media center tent had to be evacuated, with a tornado warning issued.

"Several tree limbs were down across the property and power was lost for nearly 30 minutes," it said.

"The golf course is gone, bunkers are gone. We're going to need time for the course to drain," PGA official Mike Russell said on the tour's Twitter webpage.

Before the weather intervened, Sergio Garcia had to climb up into one of the trees to play his second shot at the par-four 10th hole after his ball became lodged in the branches.

With the wind whistling in the leaves, the Spaniard hit a backwards, one-handed shot onto the fairway before leaping back to the ground -- and was awarded "9.8 on the dismount" by one TV commentator who also hailed his "tree iron."

However, he double-bogeyed the hole and pulled out of the tournament soon after play was halted as he trailed Woods by 10 shots.

It was the second remarkable shot in two days, following Nicholas Thompson's barefoot shot from the water at 17, where his ball was submerged.

Still without his shoes, and slacks rolled up to the knee, he calmly sank his par putt.

There was also a fine water escape on Sunday, as Matt Every eagled the par-four third hole despite having his feet planted in the hazard.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
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.
updated 8:18 AM EDT, Wed July 9, 2014
The next generation of golfers just keeps on getting younger. "They have the confidence to perform against their idols," says one ex-prodigy.
updated 7:59 AM EDT, Tue July 1, 2014
He was Spain's ultimate matador and golf's greatest escape artist.
updated 11:36 AM EDT, Wed June 18, 2014
Rory McIlroy has announced he wants to represent Ireland at the Rio Olympics in 2016.
Two-time major champion Rory McIlroy declares he'll represent Ireland at the Rio Olympics, not Great Britain.
updated 10:48 PM EDT, Mon April 28, 2014
Already admired by Annika Sorenstam and with a bucketful of talent, New Zealand's Lydia Ko has the world of golf at her feet.
updated 7:30 AM EDT, Mon April 28, 2014
Mike O'Connor, UK FootGolf
Like footie? Partial to a bit of golf? Then you'll love FootGolf. The sport's growing fan base includes a host of former English Premier League stars.
updated 9:43 AM EDT, Thu April 24, 2014
Golfers at at Barkway Park don't seem to concerned and have been taking pictures and videos of the bird when it appears on the greens and fairways.
A runaway ostrich-like bird hiding near an English golf course has caused quite a stir. Some say it's dangerous, while others are cashing in.
updated 8:38 AM EDT, Tue April 22, 2014
Eagles may be thin on the ground for most golfers at the Bear Trace course at Harrison Bay. But up in the treetops, it's a different matter.
updated 1:54 PM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
When someone tells you to go jump in a lake, sometimes it's best to take their advice. "I've never been so scared," says golfer Pablo Larrazabal.
ADVERTISEMENT