Tiger Woods gets a win….Finally….and ties Nicklaus’s record!

Matt Sullivan/Reuters

Tiger Woods won the Memorial for the fifth time.

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 two-shot deficit into a two-shot victory over Rory Sabbatini and fast-closing Andres Romero.

Coming off a two-putt birdie on the 15th, Woods hit 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. Far more likely was the ball going short and down a slope away from the pin, or coming out too strong and rolling into the water.

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!

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Tiger Woods gets a win….Finally….and ties Nicklaus’s record!


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