DORAL, Fla. — It was never really a matter of if on Sunday, but by how much.
In the end, the difference was only a couple of strokes after Tiger Woods shot a 1-under at TPC Blue Monster to win the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship.
But Woods’ latest victory was one of his most impressive.
He made 27 birdies for the week and on Sunday led by as many as five strokes before bogeys on two of his last three holes made the margin closer.
Steve Stricker, who gave Woods a putting lesson earlier in the week, finished second.
“Thank you, Steve, for the putting lessson,” Woods said. “It was one of those weeks when I felt good about how i was playing.”
It marks the second victory of the season for Woods, who also won at Torrey Pines, and the fifth in his last 19 stroke-play events dating back to last year’s Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard.
It is also his 17th career World Golf Championships title and the 76th PGA Tour title of his career, moving him to within six of all-time leader Sam Snead.
Woods also moves to second in the FedExCup standings and with a victory at Bay Hill in two weeks would return to No. 1 in the world.
Leaderboard: Tiger Woods 66-65-67-71—269 (-19); Steve Stricker 67-67-69-68—271 (-17); Graeme McDowell 66-67-69-72—274 (-14); Phil Mickelson 67-67-69-71—214 (-14); Adam Scott, 66-67-69-64—274 (-14); 274Sergio Garcia 66-67-69-72-69—274 (-14).
—Earns his 76 career PGA Tour victory at the age of 37 years, 2 months and 10 days in his 297 (283 professional) career start.
— All-time victories: 1) Sam Snead – 82; won 76th (1957 Palm Beach Round Robin) at the age of 45 years and 6 days 2) Tiger Woods – 76; won 76th (2013 World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship) at age of 37 years, 2 months and 10 days
— Earns 550 FedExCup points to move to No. 2 the FedExCup standings, 177 points behind Brandt Snedeker.
— 2013 PGA TOUR tournament summary: Starts: 4; in money: 4; victories: 2; top-10 finishes: 2
— Woods has seven victories (1999, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2013) in 13 career starts at the Cadillac Championship.
— Wins his 17 World Golf Championships event and first since the 2009 Bridgestone Invitational. From 1999-2009, Woods did not go an entire season without winning at least one World Golf Championships title.
— Victories in the World Golf Championships: Cadillac Championship (7): 1999, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2013 Bridgestone Invitational (7): 1999, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009 Accenture Match Play Championship (3): 2003, 2004, 2008
— Claims fifth victory in last 19 starts on Tour.
— Has won 76 out of 283 (27 percent) professional starts on the PGA Tour.
— Wins for the fourth time at TPC Blue Monster at Trump Doral: 2005 & 2006 Ford Championship at Doral, 2007 & 2013 World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship.
— Has now won four events seven times. The others are the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational, Arnold Palmer Invitational and Farmers Insurance Open.
— Woods tournaments with five or more victories (professional starts only) Tournament Starts Cuts Top-10 Wins Years won Farmers Insurance Open 13 13 12 7 1999, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2013 WGC-Cadillac Championship 13 13 12 7 1999, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2013 Arnold Palmer Invitational 15 15 8 7 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2008, 2009, 2012 WGC-Bridgestone 13 13 11 7 1999, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009 Memorial Tournament 13 13 7 5 1999, 2000, 2001, 2009, 2012
— Notches his first two wins of the season at Torrey Pines (Farmers Insurance Open) and TPC Blue Monster at Trump Doral (Ford Championship at Doral/Cadillac Championship) for the fourth time, going on to win six (2005), eight (2006) and seven (2007) times the previous three times.
— Wins for the 14 time in the state of Florida, tied with California for most in his career.
— Has now converted 51 of 55 third-round leads/co-leads. Has converted his last four third-round leads.
— Has now converted 36 of 46 second-round leads/co-leads
— Has now converted 14 of 28 first-round leads/co-leads.
— Stricker finished two strokes behind Tiger Woods for the 13th runner-up finish of his career and second of the season (Hyundai Tournament of Champions). Stricker has posted nine of his 12 career victories and eight of his 13 runner-up finishes since turning 40 in 2007.
— Stricker (67-67-69-68) and Phil Mickelson (67-67-69-71) were paired together all four rounds this week.
— Stricker has played the last 256 holes at the TPC Blue Monster at Trump Doral without a 3-putt. His last came at the event in 2010 during the second round (No. 5).
— On Wednesday, Stricker spent nearly an hour giving putting tips to Tiger Woods. Stricker (No. 1) and Woods (No. 2) finished as the top two players in Strokes Gained-Putting for the week.
— After playing his first 46 holes this week without a bogey (a personal-best streak on the PGA Tour), Graeme McDowell had three bogeys and two double bogeys on his final 26 holes to finish T3. Perhaps the most costly was a double-bogey 6 on the 72nd hole on Sunday, dropping him from solo-third into a four-way tie for third.
— McDowell (T3) earns his second consecutive top-10 finish in a World Golf Championships event after finishing T5 at the Accenture Match Play Championship. In seven previous appearances at the Cadillac Championship, McDowell’s best finish was a T6 (2005, 2010).
— World No. 1 Rory McIlroy closed out the week in style with a bogey-free 7-under 65, moving from T30 to T8, his first on the PGA Tour since T10 at the 2012 Tour Championship.
— Phil Mickelson finished T3 for just his second top-10 finish in 11 starts at the Cadillac Championship. His previous top 10 was a victory in 2009.
— Sergio Garcia finished T3 at the Cadillac Championship for the third time in his career (2005, 2007, 2013).
— Adam Scott fired the round of the week with a final-round 8-under 64, jumping from T19 to T3. It is his best round since posting the same score in the first round of the 2012 British Open. Scott improved each day this week with rounds of 72-70-68-64.
— 2013 World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship winner Matt Kuchar finished T35 in his attempt to join Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson as the only players to capture multiple World Golf Championships titles in the same season. This year’s finish was Kuchar’s first outside the top 10 in four starts at the Cadillac Championship (T3-2010, T5-2011, T8-2012).
— Justin Rose finished T8 in his attempt to become the first back-to-back winner at the TPC Blue Monster since Tiger Woods (2005-07). He was also hoping to join Woods as the only back-to-back winner of the Cadillac Championship (2002-03, 2005-07).
— Last week’s Honda Classic champion Michael Thompson finished T8 in his first World Golf Championships start.
— The third-round leader/co-leader has now carried that lead on to victory seven of nine times this season.
— The 54-hole leader has gone on to win this event 10 of 14 times: Tiger Woods – 1999, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2013; Ernie Els – 2004; Geoff Ogilvy – 2008; Phil Mickelson – 2009; Ernie Els – 2010
— Sixteen players made their first-career start at the Cadillac Championship: Michael Thompson (T8), Scott Jamieson (T23), Matteo Manassero (T23), Scott Piercy (T25), Russell Henley (T28), John Huh (T28), Marcel Siem (T39), David Lynn (T39), Chris Wood (T43), George Coetzee (T53), Stephen Gallacher (T53), Thorbjorn Olesen (T53), Mike Hendry (T58), John Merrick (T60), Jamie Donaldson (T63) and Robert Garrigus (65).
— Five players made their first-ever World Golf Championships start: Michael Thompson (T8), Scott Jamieson (T23), John Huh (T28), Mike Hendry (T58) and John Merrick (T60).
— Six past champions of the Cadillac Championship competed this week, including Tiger Woods (1st), Phil Mickelson (T3), Justin Rose (T8), Ernie Els (T28), Geoff Ogilvy (T47) and Nick Watney (T49).
— The par-4 18th hole played the toughest this week at 4.381 (+.381), making it the third toughest hole of the season (behind No. 10 at PGA National and No. 7 at Torrey Pines’ South Course. A year ago, the hole ranked as the toughest on Tour in a non-major, and the second toughest overall (behind the par-4 sixth hole at The Olympic Club).