Tiger Woods wins 76th PGA Tour event of his career | Golf
Tiger Woods won the Cadillac Championship by two strokes over Steve Stricker, who gave Woods a putting lesson last week.
MIAMI — Tiger Woods is hitting his stride on a march to next month's Masters.
Woods had full control of his game Sunday and never let anyone get closer than three shots until he had virtually locked up his 17th title in a World Golf Championships event. With a conservative bogey on the final hole, he closed with a 1-under-par 71 to win the Cadillac Championship at the TPC Blue Monster at Doral.
Woods, who posted his 76th PGA Tour victory, had a 19-under 269 total and earned $1.5 million. Steve Stricker (68) was second at 17 under.
For the first season in five years, Woods has two victories before the Masters, which starts April 11 at Augusta National in Georgia.
It was one year ago at Doral that Woods — a winner of 14 major tournaments — withdrew after 11 holes in the final round because of tightness in his left Achilles tendon, creating uncertainty about his health and whether he could get his game back.
Woods has won five times in the last 12 months, the most of anyone in the world.
Stricker might want to claim a share of Woods' latest trophy. He spent about 45 minutes on the putting green with Woods on the eve of the tournament, helping him with his posture over putts. Woods made 27 birdies in four rounds, one short of his best on the PGA Tour.
"Thank you to Steve for the putting lesson," Woods said at the trophy presentation. "It was one of those weeks where I felt pretty good about how I was playing, made a few putts and got it rolling."
Stricker, playing a part-time schedule, picked up his second runner-up finish in three starts this season. He seemingly had no regrets about helping Woods.
"At times, you kick yourself," Stricker said with a laugh. "He's a good friend. We talk a lot about putting. It's good to see him playing well."
Woods won in January at Torrey Pines by four shots. He triumphed for the fourth time at Doral.
Woods improved to 40-2 in PGA Tour events where he had the outright lead entering the final round.
Rory McIlroy, the top-ranked player in the world, showed signs of recovering from his rough start to the season. He had a bogey-free 65 and tied for eighth place at 10 under.
"Just goes to show, it's not as far away as you think," McIlroy said. "That's been one of my problems. I always think when I'm playing bad that it's further away than it is."
Ryan Moore (76) of Puyallup tied for 53rd place at 4 over.
• Scott Brown made a 4-foot birdie putt on the final hole of the Puerto Rico Open and won for the first time on the PGA Tour.
Brown, 29, closed with a 2-under 70 and had a 20-under 268 total to beat Jordan Spieth (67) and Fabian Gomez (71) by one stroke. Brown earned $630,000.
Jeff Gove (71) of Seattle tied for 57th at 8 under and ex-Washington Husky Troy Kelly (73) tied for 67th at 5 under.