Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Tiger on the prowl for No.1 spot

March 23, 2013 -- Updated 2259 GMT (0659 HKT)
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
November 12, 2014 -- Updated 1129 GMT (1929 HKT)
"Sleep, as far as mental and physical recovery goes, has never been more important ..." says sport sleep coach Nick Littlehales.
November 4, 2014 -- Updated 1024 GMT (1824 HKT)
Joe Miller is devouring his second steak of the day and the clock has barely nudged 2pm. You need lots of fuel to smash a drive 474 yards.
October 13, 2014 -- Updated 1449 GMT (2249 HKT)
There have been many dark days for Oliver Wilson, but golf's unluckiest loser is finally riding an upward swing of his career roller coaster.
October 7, 2014 -- Updated 1648 GMT (0048 HKT)
They dress like it's the 1930s and they swing antique equipment that eschews cutting-edge technology -- this is hickory golf.
September 15, 2014 -- Updated 1609 GMT (0009 HKT)
CNN's Living Golf focuses on women's golf, charting the growth of the sport from royal pastime to multi-million dollar machine.
October 1, 2014 -- Updated 0846 GMT (1646 HKT)
"I don't know how to paint happy," says golf's poster girl Michelle Wie. "I think it releases a lot of the darker feelings in me."
September 29, 2014 -- Updated 1213 GMT (2013 HKT)
Phil Mickelson of the United States talks during a press conference after the United States were defeated by Europe after the Singles Matches of the 2014 Ryder Cup on the PGA Centenary course at the Gleneagles Hotel on September 28, 2014 in Auchterarder, Scotland.
If you're a U.S. golf fan, or Tom Watson, look away now.
September 25, 2014 -- Updated 2318 GMT (0718 HKT)
A ban on uploading social media pictures from the course at Gleneagles was dropped for the Ryder Cup.
September 24, 2014 -- Updated 1052 GMT (1852 HKT)
A spot of shopping, the odd spa day and some serious flag waving. Welcome to the life of a Ryder Cup WAG.
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 1301 GMT (2101 HKT)
Tom Watson has learned plenty in the 21 years since he was last U.S. Ryder Cup captain, but social media is proving to be problematic.
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 1243 GMT (2043 HKT)
Patriotism will reach fever pitch when the USA and Europe collide in golf's Ryder Cup ... and it looks like Rickie Fowler has let it go to his head.
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 1342 GMT (2142 HKT)
Pressure is inescapable in the cauldron of Ryder Cup competition -- pressure and ping pong.
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 1150 GMT (1950 HKT)
Millions of golf fans were watching on television with great anticipation. All Martin Kaymer could think about was getting his phone out.
ADVERTISEMENT