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Tiger's bid for No. 1 delayed by storm at Bay Hill

Out on a limb: Sergio Garcia tries to steady himself 15 feet up a tree to play his next shot following an errant drive at Bay Hill.

CBS Sports (TV image)

Out on a limb: Sergio Garcia tries to steady himself 15 feet up a tree to play his next shot following an errant drive at Bay Hill.

ORLANDO — Tiger Woods will have to wait one more day to try to reclaim No. 1 in the world.

Moments after Woods made a 10-foot birdie putt on the second hole, a vicious thunderstorm packing gusts that topped out at 62 mph interrupted Sunday's final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational and wiped out play until today (10 a.m., Golf Channel).

The storm dumped nearly 1½ inches on Bay Hill and formed small ponds in the fairways — there was even a fish in the middle of the 18th fairway. The wind toppled the TV tower behind the 10th green, which was a pile of metal poles, wood, mesh netting and had a stationary camera in the middle of it all.

About an hour after a tornado warning expired, officials said they needed time to clean up.

Woods is going after his eighth win at Bay Hill, which would return him to No. 1 in the world ranking for the first time since the last week of October 2010.

He hit all of six shots on Sunday, enough to build a three-shot lead over Rickie Fowler, Keegan Bradley, John Huh and Ken Duke.

"At least we got a little activity in, so we're not completely stagnant," Woods said before leaving.

Mark Russell, the tour's vice president of competition, said officials discussed whether to play early Sunday from two tees to try to beat the storms. He said NBC Sports was involved in the discussions — Woods going for the win, with Fowler at his side is sure to boost ratings — and they rolled the dice.

"If we played early, it was going to be a tape-delay situation. People were going to know who won before it came on television, so it defeats our television partners," he said. "They wanted to take a chance. It was just unfortunate."

So this Spaniard climbs a tree …

Sergio Garcia might want to change his name to Tarzan.

The Spaniard provided an amazing highlight at Bay Hill when he climbed some 15 feet into an oak tree and played a shot back out to the fairway.

Garcia already was having a rough final round when his tee shot at No. 10 sailed into the trees. Not only did it get stuck, it came to rest at the base of two large limbs. He looked up, stood on a cart and leapt to pull himself into the tree.

"I knew they were looking around the tree," said playing-partner William McGirt. "I didn't know they were looking in the tree. I looked over and Sergio is up in the air, and I'm trying to figure out what in the hell he's going to do. He called for a club. He's hugging the tree. And the ball comes flying out.

"Are you kidding me?"

Garcia studied his options before playing a one-handed, backhanded shot out to the fairway. More stunning was he jumped from about 8 feet up in the tree to get down.

Two holes later, rain halted play. Garcia was 5 over for his round and 3 over for the tournament.

McGirt said when they climbed into a van to be taken back to the clubhouse, Garcia handed him the scorecard and said, "I'm out of here." He officially withdrew.

Garcia had said earlier in the week that he was low on energy and enthusiasm and "I just want to go home." He said late Sunday on his website that pulling out was "not an easy decision."

LPGA: Spain's Beatriz Recari (74) defeated South Korea's I.K. Kim (71) on the second playoff hole to win the Kia Classic in Carlsbad, Calif. Each finished regulation at 9-under 279.

Champions: Michael Allen won the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic in Saucier, shooting 5-under 67 to finish 11-under 205. He started the round two behind the leaders but made five birdies on the front nine and finished a stroke ahead of Bernhard Langer (70), who was one of four who shared the second-round lead.

Tiger's bid for No. 1 delayed by storm at Bay Hill 03/24/13 [Last modified: Sunday, March 24, 2013 9:55pm]

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