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McIlroy holds off Tiger threat to take top golf spot
March 4, 2012 / 10:47 PM / 6 years ago

McIlroy holds off Tiger threat to take top golf spot

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Florida (Reuters) -

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland hits his tee shot on the second hole during fourth round play in the Honda Classic PGA golf tournament at PGA National Golf Club in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, March 4, 2012. REUTERS/Joe Skipper

Britain’s Rory McIlroy held off a last-day charge from Tiger Woods to win the Honda Classic on Sunday and take over as golf’s new world number one.

The 22-year-old McIlroy, winner of last year’s U.S. Open, replaced Luke Donald at the top of the world rankings after a thrilling victory at the PGA National course.

Only Woods, who finished tied for second with Tom Gillis on Sunday, reached number one at an earlier age.

McIlroy started the last day with a two-shot lead and finished up winning by the same margin after shooting a final round of one-under-par 69 for a total of 12-under.

The Northern Irishman looked to be cruising to victory until Woods charged up the leaderboard with a final round 62, making an eagle at the last hole to briefly cut the margin to one stroke.

But McIlroy, who had bogeyed the 12th, birdied the 13th to restore his two-shot advantage then kept his composure through the tricky ‘Bear Trap’ trio of holes to win his third PGA title.

Editing by Julian Linden

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