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By Simon Evans
ORLANDO, Florida, March 16 Tiger Woods produced
a superb 24-foot putt for a dramatic birdie on the final hole
to claim his ninth win in 10 tournaments at the Arnold Palmer
Invitational on Sunday.
World number one Woods went into the 18th hole level with
fellow American Bart Bryant on nine-under-par and looked set
for a play-off.
Journeyman Bryant, ranked 137th before this event, had kept
the pressure on Woods throughout with a consistent round of 67
but was left to watch a perfect putt for victory -- Woods's
seventh successive worldwide.
Woods celebrated with a punch of his fist and threw his cap
to the ground before picking the ball out of the hole with the
massed ranks of fans cheering his success.
"It was just a great day. I hit the ball well all day,"
said Woods who had struggled to find his form in the opening
two rounds and who had been down in 20th place, seven shots off
the lead on Friday.
"I was trying to get the speed right, trying not to leave
myself a second putt and it went in," said Woods of his winning
But the 32-year-old said he was more pleased with his drive
to the green where, with the wind changing direction, he opted
for a five iron and found the green and his chance of that
"You have to understand I had not hit the ball well the
last three days and then to have that shot with everything on
the line, to hit a shot and give myself a putt it...I was just
so fired up I hit the shot the way I wanted to."
Woods ended the day with a four-under-par 66 for a total of
The only real blemish came when he three-putted for a bogey
at the 10th to give Bryant an opening.
Bryant, without a PGA tour win since 2005, was
philosophical about his defeat.
"I played the way I felt I had to down the stretch, getting
pars to keep the pressure on Tiger. But that is why he is Tiger
-- he has done it before and he will do it again," said Bryant.
"It didn't surprise me one bit. You've still got to
chuckle even though you're not surprised. Nothing he does
anymore surprises me."
Woods's 64th PGA Tour victory means he draws level with Ben
Hogan in the list of all-time rankings -- only Sam Snead (82)
and Jack Nicklaus (73) have won more.
Last year's winner Vijay Singh of Fiji and Americans Cliff
Kresge and Sean O'Hair were tied for third place.
(Editing by Peter Rutherford)