Tiger Woods returned to the top of the world rankings for the first time since October 2010 after winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational by two strokes.
The 37-year-old, who dropped to a career-low 58th in November 2011, replaces Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy as number one.
The American’s win at Bay Hill was his 77th PGA title and his third of 2013.
Resuming three shots ahead after storms halted the event on Sunday, Woods carded a 70 for a 13-under-par total.
“I play well here, it’s as simple as it gets,” said Woods, number one for the 11th time. “I’m very pleased with the way I’m playing.
“It was a by-product of hard work, patience and getting back to playing golf tournaments.
England’s world number five Justin Rose also shot 70 to finish second and move up to number three in the world.
It was a sixth title in his last 20 starts on the PGA Tour for Woods, and after wins this year at Doral and Torrey Pines, he is now clear favourite to capture his fifth Masters title when the season’s opening major begins at Augusta on 11 April.
Woods, who claimed the last of his 14 majors in 2008, had played two holes of his final round when a torrential storm ended proceedings in Florida on Sunday.
The ferocious storm that felled several trees at the exclusive Orlando course was replaced by sunshine and only a moderate breeze on Monday.
Rickie Fowler moved to within two shots of Woods with four holes remaining but dropped four strokes in the next two holes, including a triple-bogey eight at the 16th, when he put two shots into the water.
Woods, who leaked several tee shots to the right, was in the large fairway bunker at the 16th, from where he found the water on Friday, but struck a majestic escape into the heart of the green and calmly two-putted for a birdie.
Rose, who was at the top of the leaderboard on the first two rounds before dropping back with a 72 on Saturday resumed four shots adrift with 16 holes of his final round remaining.
He dropped a shot at his first hole of the day and at the third, but recorded four birdies, ensuring sole possession of second with an assured up and down from the greenside bunker at the par-three 17th.
Woods first won professionally at Bay Hill in 2000, the first of four successive titles there.