Tiger Woods’ attempts to get back to No 1 in the world rankings will resume today after the final day of the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill was abandoned amid heavy storms.
The 37-year-old will regain the spot he has held for 623 weeks across his career if he wins the event in Orlando and in the two holes he managed yesterday he extended his lead from two shots to three. He was left kicking his heels for the rest of the day, though, with storms ransacking the area, blowing television cameras over and leaving the course unplayable.
With a wealth of experience behind him, Woods will not be unduly fazed by having to come back today, but he will no doubt have wanted to finish the job yesterday. He will dislodge Rory McIlroy with a win and a second-hole birdie means at 12 under he is three shots ahead of the chasing Keegan Bradley, Ken Duke, Rickie Fowler and John Huh.
“The golf course is gone, bunkers are gone. We’re going to need time for the course to drain,” PGA official Mike Russell said through the organisation’s Twitter account.
Sergio Garcia will not be teeing off in Orlando, though, with the Spaniard pulling out owing to a horror round. At one point he climbed into a tree to play out an errant ball and called time on his tournament not long after.
England’s Justin Rose also got through two holes, dropping another shot after his disappointing round on Saturday to fall to eight under, while the round of the day belonged to Bubba Watson, who moved from one over to four under with a finishing 67.
Meanwhile Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat held his nerve after an untimely weather delay to claim his first European Tour title yesterday with a wire-to-wire victory in the Maybank Malaysian Open.
The tournament had been reduced to 54 holes following thunderstorms on each of the first three days, and another arrived just after the final group had teed off on the 16th hole. That meant a two-hour delay with Aphibarnrat one shot ahead of Italy’s Edoardo Molinari, who had completed his 67 just before the delay and was safely in the clubhouse.
Aphibarnrat hit a birdie on the 16th , saved par on the next and had the luxury of taking six on the 634-yard par-five 18th to win by one shot from Molinari.