Tiger Woods is hitting his stride on his march to the Masters.
Woods had full control of his game Sunday and never let anyone get closer than three shots until he had locked up his 17th World Golf Championship title. With a bogey that didn’t matter on the final hole, he closed with a 1-under-par 71 to win the Cadillac Championship in Doral, Fla.
For the first time in five years, Woods has two wins before the Masters. It was one year ago at Doral that Woods 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 ever get his game back.
Woods has won five times in the last year, the most of anyone. Woods, who finished at 19-under 269, won by two shots over Steve Stricker, who might want to claim a share of this trophy.
Stricker spent 45 minutes on the putting green with Woods on the eve of the tournament, helping him with his posture. Woods made 27 birdies this week, one short of his personal best on the PGA Tour.
Stricker, playing a part-time schedule, picked up his second runner-up finish in just three starts. He closed with a 68, and had no regrets about offering Woods some help.
Rory McIlroy, the No. 1 player in the world, showed signs of recovering from his rough start to the season. He had a 65 and tied for eighth.
Graeme McDowell, who played with Woods in the final round, finished tied with Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia, and Adam Scott for third.
Woods improved to 40-2 on the PGA Tour when he had the outright lead going into the final round, the last two wins with McDowell at his side.
PGA — Scott Brown went from a one-shot deficit to a one-shot victory in the Puerto Rico Open in Rio Grande when he made a 4-foot birdie putt on the par-5 18th hole to beat Fabian Gomez and capture his first PGA Tour title.
Brown closed with a 2-under 70 to go to a tourney-record 20-under 268.
Former US Amateur champion Peter Uihlein of Mattapoisett, Mass., eagled the final hole for a 67 to tie for sixth, giving him a spot in Tampa Bay next week.