Woods stalks No. 1, waits out big storm

The Associated PressMarch 25, 2013 

Tiger Woods must wait until today to try to reclaim No. 1 in the world.

Moments after Woods made a 10-foot birdie putt on the second hole Sunday in Orlando, Fla., a vicious thunderstorm packing gusts of 62 mph interrupted the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational and delayed play until today.

The storm dumped nearly 11/2 inches of rain on Bay Hill, where small ponds formed in the fairways — there was even a fish in the middle of the 18th fairway. The wind toppled a TV tower behind the 10th green.

About an hour after a tornado warning expired, officials said they would need time to clean up the course and let it drain. The final round was to resume at 7 a.m. (PDT) today.

Woods is going after his eighth win at Bay Hill, which would return him to No. 1 in the world ranking for the first time since October 2010.

He hit all of six shots on Sunday, enough to build a three-shot lead over Rickie Fowler, Keegan Bradley, John Huh and Ken Duke.

“At least we got a little activity in today, so we’re not completely stagnant,” Woods said before leaving the course. “We’ve dealt with this before.”

This is the third PGA Tour event this year to finish a day late because of weather, including the Farmers Insurance Open won by Woods at Torrey Pines on a Monday after fog delayed play in San Diego.

SPANIARD WINS

Beatrtiz Recari sank an 18-foot birdie putt from the fringe on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff to beat I.K. Kim and win the Kia Classic on the LPGA Tour in Carlsbad, Calif.

After Recari and Kim three-putted No. 18 both in regulation and on the first playoff hole, Recari ended it for her first victory since her rookie season of 2010. The 25-year-old Spaniard raised her right fist in celebration before the ball rolled in then, raised both arms in the air.

She later put her hands to her face and wiped away tears as her caddie boyfriend, Andreas Thorp, put his arm around her.

ELSEWHERE

Michael Allen rallied to win the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic by shooting a 5-under 67 to leapfrog a crowded leaderboard in Saucier, Miss. He finished one stroke ahead of Bernhard Langer to take his fourth Champions Tour title. … Edward Loar made the Louisiana Open his second Web.com Tour title by closing with a 2-under 69 to beat Morgan Hoffmann by two strokes in windy Broussard, La. University Place’s Michael Putnam closed with a 68 to tie for sixth. … Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat shot a 2-under 70 to beat Italy’s Eduardo Molinari by a stroke in the rain-shortened Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur.

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