By Brian Keogh
Tiger Woods shrugged off a neck injury to leave the world's best in his wake at the Blue Monster.
The World No 1 had a stiff neck for three days but still crossed the finish ing line with two shots to spare over Ryder Cup team mate Brett Wetterich.
Struggling with his putting, Woods took no chances coming down the stretch just a week after a disastrous finish in the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill.
Now he looks set to chase his 13th major victory and his fifth green jacket at Augusta next week.
He's also after a hat-trick of major wins after victories in the Open at Hoylake and US PGA at Medinah last year.
On his neck, Woods said: "I slept kind of funky one night and my neck's been stiff for about three days now. That's what happens when you get to 30."
With 13 individual WGC titles to his credit from 24 attempts, Woods could not think of a better way to prepare for the Masters.
He said: "You can't have any better way, getting a 'W' right before you go.
"I'm very excited about the things that I've been able to rectify on Monday and Tuesday and then obviously apply Thursday through Sunday.
"I think you have to analyse your performance and where you went wrong. Too many people are afraid to look deep down and look at where you made mistakes.
"That's not always easy to do, to be honest with yourself. That's something my father always instilled in me and even to this day, sometimes it's difficult, but you have to take an honest look and have an honest evaluation of your performance.
"I made too many mental mistakes, which I never do. Physical mistakes I can handle, but since this is not a reactionary sport it's just frustrating for me to make a mental mistake."
Woods was far from perfect on the final day at Doral and while he lead by six shots with eight to play he dropped three shots coming home in a round of 73.
But his final bogey was deliberate as he took disaster on the 18th out of the equation by laying up twice on the 467-yard 18th
Birdies by Wetterich on the 15th and 16th left him just three behind but the big-hitting American failed with a 10 footer for birdie at the 17th that could have forced Woods to be aggressive on the dreaded finishing hole.
He missed his putt though and Woods could afford to take a three iron off the tee and then lay up short of the green with an eight-iron before wedging on and two-putting from 50 feet for his 11th WGC strokeplay win.
Woods explained: "If Brett makes that putt (on 17), I have to hit driver, plain and simple, unless he soups it left. If he hits it right, I still have to hit driver and be committed to it and get it down there, and basically try and make par just in case he makes birdie, somehow.
"Since he missed that putt on 17, he makes three all day, it doesn't really matter if I play a three-shot hole and make five."
Woods lagged his putt down to three feet from the same spot where Mark Calcavecchia had putted into the water to run up a quadruple bogey eight just minutes earlier.
The veteran feared that his error would cost him his top 10 place on the PGA Tour money list and a place in the Masters but he dropped only to ninth.