Tiger rallies to card 67 and wins the Memorial

Posted: June 05, 2012

DUBLIN, Ohio - Tiger Woods was at his best Sunday at the Memorial. He hit nearly every shot just the way he wanted, worked the gallery into a frenzy with one last charge over the final hour and left everyone buzzing - especially Jack Nicklaus - with a shot they will talk about for years.

Better yet was the timing of his 73d win. Woods tied Nicklaus for career PGA Tour victories at the tournament that Jack built. And the 14-time major champion suddenly looks equipped to resume his chase of another Nicklaus mark that is more significant - 18 major championships.

The U.S. Open starts in 11 days.

With a chip-in that even Woods called one of the toughest shots he ever made, he birdied three of his last four holes to close with a 5-under 67 and turn a 2-shot deficit into a 2-shot victory over Rory Sabbatini and fast-closing Andres Romero.

Coming off a 2-putt birdie on the 15th, Woods hit an 8-iron over the green at the par-3 16th and into an impossible lie. It was buried in deep rough, the pin 50 feet away along a ridge. Woods hit a full flop shot, hopeful to give himself a reasonable putt for par.

No one was thinking birdie, not even Woods, until he took two steps and delivered an uppercut when the ball fell in the right side of the cup.

Nicklaus was gushing from the broadcast booth. "The most unbelievable, gutsy shot I've ever seen," he said.

"Under the circumstances - the circumstances being Tiger has been struggling - it was either fish or cut bait," Nicklaus said later. "He had one place to land the ball. He's playing a shot that if he leaves it short, he's going to leave himself again a very difficult shot. If he hits it long, he's going to probably lose the tournament. He lands the ball exactly where it has to land. Going in the hole was a bonus. But what a shot!

"I don't think under the circumstances I've ever seen a better shot."

Woods, who finished at 9-under 279, won the Memorial for the fifth time. At age 36, he is 10 years younger than Nicklaus when the Golden Bear won his 73d tournament at the 1986 Masters. Sam Snead holds the PGA Tour record with 82 wins.

Champions Tour

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa - Jay Haas finished with a 16-under 197 total to win the Principal Charity Classic by 5 strokes, becoming the first golfer to win the Champions Tour event in Iowa three times.

European PGA

NEWPORT, Wales - Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee survived a poor start to win the Wales Open by 1 stroke.

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