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McIlroy on top of the world after Honda Classic victory

March 5, 2012 -- Updated 1453 GMT (2253 HKT)
Rory McIlroy holds the trophy aloft after winning the Honda Classic in Florida.
Rory McIlroy holds the trophy aloft after winning the Honda Classic in Florida.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Rory McIlroy wins Honda Classic tournament in Florida
  • McIlroy will go to no.1 in the new world rankings
  • Tiger Woods puts him under pressure after an eight-under 62
  • Woods and Tom Gillis finish tied for second

(CNN) -- Rory McIlroy kept his nerve in the face of a last day charge from Tiger Woods to win the Honda Classic Sunday and jump to the top of the world rankings.

The 22-year-old from Northern Ireland finished with a one-under-par 69 for a 12-under total of 268 at the PGA National in Florida.

The victory will see him leapfrog England's Luke Donald as world No.1, a week after missing out on the honor when beaten by Hunter Mahan in the WGC Match Play final.

14-time major winner Woods showed he is still a force to be reckoned with after a closing eight-under 62, his lowest final round as a professional.

Rory McIlroy has risen to the top of golf's world rankings after winning the Honda Classic in Florida on Sunday. It caps a remarkable rise for the 22-year-old Northern Irishman in recent years. Here he is as a 14-year-old playing at the Boys Home Internationals at the Royal St David's Golf Club in Wales in August 2003. Rory McIlroy has risen to the top of golf's world rankings after winning the Honda Classic in Florida on Sunday. It caps a remarkable rise for the 22-year-old Northern Irishman in recent years. Here he is as a 14-year-old playing at the Boys Home Internationals at the Royal St David's Golf Club in Wales in August 2003.
From junior champion to world beater
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Top of the world: The rise and rise of Rory Top of the world: The rise and rise of Rory

He finished by draining an eight-foot eagle putt on the 18th to set the clubhouse target on 10-under 270.

It was tough today, especially seeing Tiger make a charge.
Rory McIlroy

World no.3 Lee Westwood also charged through the field on the last day with a 63 to finish on eight-under.

McIlroy, under constant pressure from those ahead of him and playing partner Tom Gillis, had to wait until the eighth for his first birdie of the day.

He dropped a shot at the 12th, but retrieved it with a birdie at the next to give himself a cushion playing the "Bear Trap" holes of 15, 16 and 17.

The U.S. Open champion duly completed that test in level par and he played safe on the 18th for a par-five to wrap up his third PGA tour title.

"First and foremost it's just great to win this tournament," McIlroy said.

"It was tough today, especially seeing Tiger make a charge. I knew par would probably good enough today, that's what I was trying to do."

The 43-year-old Gillis birdied the 18th to tie Woods for second, two back, for his best finish on the tour.

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