Can Tiger Woods finish the week on top of world as well as head over heels?

The American golfer can replace Rory McIlroy at the top of the world rankings with victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational

Tiger Woods could be no.1 twice over come Sunday, top of the world golf rankings as well as the affections of Lindsey Vonn. The Facebook confirmation of Woods’s romance with the snow queen of American sport contradicts his self-imposed privacy policy. “I never talk about my private life” is a familiar refrain on the golf courses of the world, rendered ridiculous by the online revelation of true love shared with billions.

Thus in one click has Woods invited all manner of queries when he addresses the media ahead of his defence of the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill. This is where, a year ago, Woods claimed his first victory since the sex scandal that shattered his marriage in November 2009. He has won four times since, twice this year, including his last outing at the WGC-Cadillac Championship in Miami, where he spent the week with Vonn on his yacht ‘Privacy’.

The formal announcement of a relationship on the Monday of a tournament was entirely by design. In the thinking of Woods it gets an awkward detail out of the way. The story will be 48 hours old by the time he is confronted by a microphone, at which point he will refer the honourable gentlemen to his Facebook page and return to the subject of chipping and putting, arguably more interesting than his skiing clinics with Vonn, and certainly of more significance.

Woods was impressive in posting his 76th PGA Tour win at Doral, where a putting lesson from his old chum Steve Stricker led to the best display of his career on the greens. A minimalist 100 putts over 72 holes kept Woods two shots clear of the pack, ironically led by Stricker. A repeat at Bay Hill, a tournament he has won seven times, would see Woods supplant Rory McIlroy at the top of the rankings for the first time since October 2010.

The field along the Florida Coast is only marginally shallower than Miami, and includes the returning Brandt Snedeker, Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson, Justin Rose and Lee Westwood, all sharpening games ahead of the Masters next month.

Another on an upward curve is Luke Donald, whose fourth place in Tampa last week was his best of the year. Donald has migrated half way across the world to contest the Malaysian Open, a journey  he made light of on setting foot at the Kuala Lumpa Golf and Country Club. “Any time you have a 12-hour time difference there's a bit of adjusting to do, but I've never really had a problem with jetlag in the past,” Donald said. “I’ve travelled a lot as a golfer and that has certainly helped me become a global player, learning how to deal with different courses, different grasses and different types of competition.”

The appearance fee and the ticking of a European Tour box on his schedule offer some compensation for the right field hike during the build-up to Augusta. Donald has two weeks to resume sleeping patterns on the America clock, and besides, his chance of a first victory since Wentworth last May is, perhaps, a good enough reason to experience Malaysian hospitality.     

“The results in my first couple of events weren’t as I’d have liked, but last week there was a lot of improvement,” he said. “I’ve felt a lot more comfortable with my game and a lot more in control of the golf ball. I came up a little short in the end, but the game feels like it’s trending in the right direction. We’ve got the Masters in a few weeks’ time and I’m excited about that.”

i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
Arts and Entertainment
Secrets of JK Rowling's Harry Potter workings have been revealed in a new bibliography
arts + ents
Robert De Niro has walked off the set of Edge of Darkness
news The Godfather Part II actor has an estimated wealth of over $200m
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade
radio The popular DJ is leaving for 'family and new adventures'
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower