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Woods is Yahoo's most-searched athlete of 2012

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Although his year ended without a major championship, Tiger Woods played well enough to earn the title of most-searched athlete of 2012, according to Yahoo.

Woods, who won three times on the PGA Tour this year, tops the search engine's list, followed by tennis star Maria Sharapova and NFL quarterback Peyton Manning. No other golfer was among the top 10 on the year-end countdown.

Having ascended from No. 23 to No. 3 in the world ranking this year, the distinction from Yahoo will likely be viewed in a better light than the last time Woods received top billing in the category, as he was also Yahoo's top-searched athlete in 2009, while embroiled in off-the-course controversy. The 14-time major champion was second behind boxer Manny Pacquiao in 2010 and last year was runner-up to driver Danica Patrick.

Bing also produced a list of its most-searched sports stars for 2012, one in which Woods was second behind Manning but ahead of another quarterback, Tim Tebow. Google has yet to release any information on its top searches of 2012.