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Sunday, March 24, 2013
Updated: March 25, 8:22 PM ET
Tiger returns to No. 1 with 77th win

By Farrell Evans

With a 2-under-par 70 in the final round Monday, Tiger Woods won his eighth Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill in Orlando, Fla., with a 2-shot win over Justin Rose.

Woods also reclaims the world No. 1 ranking. The previous time he was ranked No. 1 was October 2010, when Lee Westwood took over the top spot.

Woods has three wins this season. This is the earliest that the 37-year-old former Stanford star has had three wins in a year since 2008, when he won the most recent of his 14 major championships, at the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines.

The victory -- his 77th on the PGA Tour in his 284th career start (27 percent) -- moves him ever closer to eclipsing Sam Snead's tour record of 82. With the way Woods is playing, he has a realistic chance of breaking that record by the end of the year.

The victory at the Arnold Palmer also ties Woods with Snead for the most wins at a single event. Slammin' Sammy won the last of his eight Greater Greensboro Opens in 1965 at the age of 52.

After going two full seasons without an official win, Woods has six victories in his past 20 starts on tour.

Woods has won three events before the Masters on three occasions. But he has never won the Masters in any of those years.

He played 16 holes Monday after inclement weather forced the postponement of play Sunday. He had five birdies and three bogeys.

Woods started the round with a 3-shot lead and was never really challenged down the stretch. Rickie Fowler, who was paired in the final group with Tiger, tried to keep things close by getting to within 2 shots late on the back nine, but a triple-bogey at the par-5 16th derailed any chances he had of earning his second tour win. 

Woods has now won 52 of 56 events when he has had a share of the third-round lead. A Florida resident since 1996, Tiger now has 15 wins in his adopted home state.