McIlroy bests Woods, claims world No. 1

March 4, 2012 at 6:04 PM

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla., March 4 (UPI) -- Rory McIlroy became world No. 1 Sunday, firing a 1-under 69 and holding off a charging Tiger Woods in the final round to capture the Honda Classic.

McIlroy claimed the top ranking after it had eluded him last week when he fell to Hunter Mahan in the title round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.

The 22-year-old reigning U.S. Open champion from Northern Ireland finished at 12-under 268. That was good for a two-shot victory over Woods -- who blazed to a career-low round of 8-under 62 -- and Tom Gillis (69), both of whom finished at 10-under 270.

Woods made a charge with a pair eagles, including one at 18, en route to his best-ever single round. But it wasn't enough as McIlroy responded by draining a 10-foot birdie putt at the 13th hole to move two shots clear for the world's former top-ranked player.

Lee Westwood grabbed sole possession of fourth place at minus-8 with a 7-under 63 Sunday.

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