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Woods tightens race for No. 1 in golf

VIRGINIA WATER, England, March 11 (UPI) — Tiger Woods pulls closer to Rory McIlroy this week in the battle for the No. 1 spot in the world golf rankings.

Woods led after every round of the Cadillac Championship in Florida and ended up winning the event Sunday by two strokes. It was his 76th PGA title. Only Sam Snead (82) has more.

Steve Stricker was second, with Phil Mickelson among three players tied for third. McIlroy, with a final-round 65, ended up tied for eighth at the TPC Blue Monster.

Woods owns the record for weeks at No. 1 with 623; Greg Norman, with 331 weeks on top, is the only other player to hold the spot for more than 100 weeks. Woods is tightening the race with McIlroy to regain the top ranking.

McIlroy’s rankings points average is 11.47 and he has been No. 1 for 38 weeks. He’s just about one point ahead of Woods (10.48), who was at 8.75 a week ago.

Luke Donald is third at 7.08 followed by fourth-ranked Brandt Snedeker (6.56) and No. 5 Justin Rose (6.53). Louis Oosthuizen (6.23) comes in sixth and Adam Scott remains seventh at 6.00.

Stricker, with an average of 5.93, jumps from 13th to No. 8 this week, knocking Matt Kuchar (5.44) down a spot to ninth. Mickelson, at 5.41, goes from No. 12 to 10th. Lee Westwood (5.34) and Ian Poulter (5.24) drop out of the Top 10.

Scott Brown won the Puerto Rico Open, another PGA Tour event contested last week, for his first professional win. He bolts 131 places to No. 160 in the world rankings.

Copyright 2013 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

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