McIlroy bests Woods, claims world No. 1
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla., March 4 (UPI) -- Rory McIlroy became world No. 1 Sunday, firing a 1-under-par 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 of 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 of the world's former top-ranked player.
Lee Westwood grabbed sole possession of fourth place at minus-8 with a 7-under 63 Sunday.
Brewers' Hart hurts knee, out 3-4 weeks
PHOENIX, March 4 (UPI) -- Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Corey Hart will miss 3-4 weeks of action after tearing a ligament in his right knee, the team said Sunday.
Assistant General Manager Gord Ash said the torn meniscus was discovered during a magnetic resonance imaging exam conducted Sunday morning.
Hart could return by the team's April 6 Opening Day game against the defending World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals, but it's also possible he could start the season on the disabled list for the second straight year, Ash said.
The nine-year veteran hit .285 with 26 home runs, 63 RBI and 80 runs scored for Milwaukee in 130 games last season.
Hamlin holds off Harvick at Phoenix Int'l
PHOENIX, March 4 (UPI) -- Denny Hamlin seized the lead with 59 laps left and then fended off Kevin Harvick to win the Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway Sunday.
Harvick's late challenge petered out when he ran out of fuel with less than two laps to go and coasted across the finish line in second place.
Hamlin had a disappointing 2011, when he finished ninth in the championship points standings following his second-place performance the previous year.
But he got 2012 off to a good start with his 18th career Sprint Cup win and his first at Phoenix.
Greg Biffle claimed third, Jimmie Johnson took the fourth spot and Brad Keselowski rounded out the Top 5.
Creighton gets NCAA bid with MVC victory
ST. LOUIS, March 4 (UPI) -- Doug McDermott struck for 33 points Sunday and 24th-ranked Creighton earned an NCAA Tournament berth with a 83-79 overtime defeat of Illinois State.
McDermott went 12-of-18 from the floor while Grant Gibbs added 20 points, seven rebounds and five assists as the Bluejays (28-5) emerged with a victory in the championship game of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament.
Antoine Young donated 14 points and four assists for No. 2 seed Creighton, which nabbed an automatic bid to the national tournament while improving to 11-1 all-time in MVC title games.
Illinois State (20-13), which bounced top-seeded Wichita State Saturday to gain the finals berth, was led by Nic Moore's 20 points and five assists.
Jackie Carmichael chipped in with 17 points and nine rebounds, while Tyler Brown netted 16 points for the fourth-seeded Redbirds.