Tiger closes in on Rory

Updated: March 11, 2013, 4:22 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Although he didn't take over the No. 1 world ranking with his victory Sunday at the WGC-Cadillac Championship, Tiger Woods more than cut in half the deficit between himself and Rory McIlroy.

Prior to last week's tournament at Doral, No. 2 Woods trailed McIlroy by 2.61 average world ranking points. After his 2-shot win at Doral, Woods closed that gap to just 0.99 points. The margin would have been even closer had McIlroy not posted a bogey-free 65 in the final round to jump up the leaderboard and finish T-8.

With Tiger's two PGA Tour wins so far in 2013, no player in the Official World Golf Rankings has earned more total points than Woods' 128.044. In comparison, McIlroy has earned 12.729 total points so far this year.

Without knowing officially who's going to be in the field at next week's Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill, where Woods will next tee it up, it's unlikely he would overtake McIlroy before the Masters. McIlroy's next start will be the week after Bay Hill at the Shell Houston Open. Woods isn't expected to play again after Bay Hill until the Masters.

Woods has not been No. 1 in the world since the end of October 2010, when Lee Westwood took over the top spot for the first time in his career. Since Woods' departure as No. 1, McIlroy, Westwood, Luke Donald and Martin Kaymer have all held the honor.

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