Victory moves McIlroy to top spot

March 05, 2012
Golf - PGA - Bet Now at Bet365

Rory McIlroy admitted it had been tough to hold off Tiger Woods' charge as he won the Honda Classic and in the process moved to number one in the world.

McIlroy's success in Florida brought to an end Luke Donald's nine-month reign as the world's number one player but the 22-year-old from Northern Ireland was aware of Woods who, after starting the day joint 18th, moved from nine behind the leader to only one back.

Woods eventually fired an eight-under par 62, one off the course record, while Lee Westwood hit a 63.

However, US Open champion McIlroy held his nerve to hold off Woods' challenge, although he admitted afterwards it had been a difficult day.

McIlroy, who had won two previous PGA Tour tournaments, at Quail Hollow in 2010 and the US Open nine months ago, said: "It was tough, especially seeing Tiger make a charge.

"I knew par golf would probably be good enough and that's what I was trying to do, so to shoot one-under is very nice and I was able to get the job done.

"My short game all week has been very good and it's what you need on a tough course like this. You know you are not going to hit every green."

McIlroy is 9/2 to win next month's US Masters while Woods can be backed at 5/1 to emerge victorious at Augusta, Westwood at 14/1 and Martin Kaymer at 33/1.

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