FORMER world No 1 Tiger Woods picked up his biggest victory since 2009 after winning the WGC-Cadillac Championship in Miami.
The American finished on 19-under-par, after a final round 71, to claim his 76th PGA Tour victory and his 17th World Golf Championship title.
He finished two shots clear of Steve Stricker, while Graeme McDowell, Phil Mickelson, Adam Scott and Sergio Garcia finished on 14-under.
The final round saw a welcome return to form for world number one Rory McIlroy who finished eighth after a final round 65. McIlroy began perfectly after an eagle on the first followed by birdies at five, ten, 11, 16 and 17.
“I’m quite happy with where my game is at compared to where it was at the start of the week,” McIlroy said last night. “There is quite a bit to go, but scores like today and shots like that over the last three days definitely give me confidence.
“I limited the mistakes. I made a lot of birdies and eagles but I made a lot of bogeys too. I’m a lot happier with where my game is and a lot happier for the next few weeks.”
McIlroy will make just one more start before the Masters in April, but after a solid end to the tournament he was in no mood to alter his preparation.
Woods will go in the first major of the year full of confidence after he won the event for a seventh time. The 37-year-old was firmly focused on winning in Miami. An impressive 19-footer on the second seemed to kickstart his round, and although an accurate approach on the third left him with a good shot at another birdie his putt missed the hole just to the left.
He made no mistake with the putter at the fourth for his 26th birdie of the week. A wayward shot on the eighth saw him in woodland before another recovery led to par. A birdie at ten extended Woods’ lead to six, while a two-putt at 12 made little difference to the outcome.
After finding the sand at 16, Woods then found the rough before holing a bogey for his first dropped shot of the round. Another poor tee shot led to a bogey at the last.
Second-placed Stricker lost ground after a bogey on three, before moving back to 15-under with birdies at five and six.
McDowell birdied the opening two, but he was in trouble after finding the bunker twice on five to drop back to 15-under.
A bogey at 11 was erased by a chip-in at 13, while a birdie at 17 was cancelled out by a horrible double bogey on the last.
Garcia had a solid final round with three birdies on the back nine soured by a bogey on the last to add to his birdie four on the first.
Mickelson made a fantastic start with birdies at one and two, but he dropped a shot on three after missing a fairly easy putt.
The four-time major winner made birdies on five and eight but dropped shots on the ninth and 11th ended his challenge.
Scott’s blemish-free final round saw him finish with eight birdies and 64, in what was his best round of the week.