Left field

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McIlroy top of the world, Woods firing…Florida serves up a classic

March 4, 2012

Rory McIlroy became the second youngest number one golfer on Sunday after Tiger Woods when the Northern Irishman survived a final-round special from the 14-times major winner at the Honda Classic in Florida.

Golf is in fine fettle. 22-year-old McIlroy can do no wrong, Woods is showing signs of a resurgence and the pair will meet again at next week’s WGC-Cadillac Championship in nearby Doral for another elite-field event.

World number three Lee Westwood also shone on Sunday with a seven-under-par final-round 63 and by the tournament’s conclusion the leaderboard was a feast of talent.

The critics who had circled for 40 weeks since England’s Luke Donald reached top spot last May can now be silent again.

Some argued a major-winner should be at the top of the rankings, with Donald, despite a prolific 2011 in which he became the first player to win both the PGA Tour and European Tour money list titles, not yet on that list.

Now they not only have a major winner. They have the game’s brightest young player who could possibly go on to much greater heights. Stay tuned to golf in 2012.

Picture: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland holds the winner’s trophy after becoming golf’s new world number one player on the 18th green with his win in the Honda Classic PGA golf tournament at PGA National Golf Club in Palm Beach Gardens

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