Say Hello to the New Tiger Woods

Say Hello to the New Tiger Woods

The tournament host was not here to witness the ending, the formality that was Tiger Woods celebrating on the 18th green, a victory that is bigger than the game's biggest attraction will ever acknowledge.

Arnold Palmer took ill Sunday afternoon, a blood pressure issue sending him to the hospital and denying him a chance to watch Woods put the finishing touches on a most important win and then acknowledge the hard work with a firm handshake and hearty hug.

Palmer, 82, who was being kept overnight for observation, played with more bravado and panache in his day than Woods does, but he nonetheless has always loved it when Tiger wins his tournament. Who wouldn't? This victory was Woods' seventh at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, and who is to say it wasn't the biggest?

Like the King himself, fans revel in watching Woods win -- and were enjoying every bit of his first victory on the PGA Tour in 923 days, back to his triumph at the 2009 BMW Championship, where Woods won for the sixth time that year and seemed on top of the golf world.

So much has transpired since then, so much negativity and personal turmoil and upheaval and injury, that many wondered if this day would ever come. Woods won for the 72nd time in his PGA Tour career with a hard-fought, final-round 70 at the Bay Hill Club & Lodge, where he took a 1-stroke lead into the final round over Graeme McDowell and won by 5.

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