Tiger Woods wins AT&T title

Jul 03, 2012, 08:12 IST | AFP

Tiger happy to have silenced doubters after surpassing Nicklaus in all-time PGA Tour victory list with win at AT&T

Tiger Woods won the storm-hit AT&T National on Sunday for his 74th career title to pass Jack Nicklaus for second place all-time on the PGA Tour list.

Woods won for the third time this year by outlasting fellow American Bo Van Pelt in a back-nine duel that went down to the final hole.

“What an incredible week,” Woods said.

Tiger Woods celebrates after winning the AT&T National at Congressional Country Club yesterday. PIC/AFP

“I remember there was a time when people were saying I could never win again.”

Woods closed with a two-under 69, giving him a two-shot victory and moving him into second place on the tour’s career list, one ahead of Nicklaus. He needs eight more to equal Sam Snead.

Woods, who finished at eight-under 276, took the lead on 17 where Van Pelt made bogey after his ball sailed over the green.

All Woods had to do was maintain the lead on the final hole.

He sealed the victory with a superb nine-iron approach that landed and rolled onto the flat part of the green on 18.

“It was downhill, the wind was hot and the ball was flying,” said Woods, who also won at Muirfield Village and Bay Hill this year. “It fit my eye for some reason. I just saw it and hit it.”

His win capped a bizarre week of golf at the Congressional Country Club course. A violent heat-fueled storm wreaked havoc on the course, blowing down trees and forcing organizers to shut the course to spectators on Saturday, making for a peculiar scene as the golfers teed off without galleries.

“Yesterday (Saturday) was a silent day, but I think everyone saved it up for today (Sunday),” Woods said after the spectators were allowed back on the course on Sunday.

The clean-up operation was extensive and the players still had to navigate some small piles of debris, just off some of the fairways, that didn’t get cleared in time for the final round.

“The staff, the maintenance crew and everybody. Yesterday (Saturday) was a very difficult situation. They worked their tails off to get it done,” Woods said.

“Everybody, thank you for being patient with us.”

Meanwhile, Woods remains at No 4 in the world, though this win and gives him a mathematical chance to get back to No 1 at the final two majors of the year.

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