Tiger Woods wins AT&T National for third win on PGA Tour in seven starts
Woods pulls clear of Jack Nicklaus for second place on all-time list
Woods is eight short of the 82 wins of legendary Sam Snead
Woods targeting 15th major in British Open at Lytham later this month
Tiger Woods overtook Jack Nicklaus for second place on the all-time PGA Tour list as he claimed the AT&T National at Congressional Sunday.
It was his 74th victory and he needs eight more to draw level with Sam Snead.
The two-shot win over nearest challenger Bo Van Pelt also leaves him in fine fettle heading into the third major of the season at Royal Lytham and St Annes later this month.
Woods is four short of leader Nicklaus on that all-time list but has not won a major since the 2008 U.S. Open after his career stalled through injury and well chronicled problems in his personal life.
In extra preparation for his tilt at a 15th major at Lytham, Woods has added the Greenbrier Classic, which starts Thursday, to his schedule.
The Greenbrier course in West Virginia is closely associated with Snead, who lived in the area and Woods said he was “excited” about the prospect of claiming a fourth win this season to draw nearer to the legendary golfer.
But then he will hone his preparations for Lytham and told gathered reporters after his Congressional win that he faced a testing challenge on the seaside links in northern England.
“I will be practicing some different shots, I will need to hit the ball a bit lower, more flighted,” he said.
But after his final round two-under 69 at Congressional for an eight-under 276 total, Woods was in buoyant and defiant mood.
“What an incredible week,” he said.
“I remember there was a time, about six months ago, when people were saying I could never win again.”
Victories at Bay Hill and Muirfield Village ended that long drought and his game held up well under pressure after a storm-hit AT&T, which had to be played Saturday without spectators because of safety fears.
“Yesterday was a silent day, but I think everyone saved it up for today,” said Woods, who had the added pressure of being the tournament host in Maryland.
Van Pelt, who mounted a stiff challenge, is in no doubt that Woods is back to his formidable best.
“I think he’s the only guy to win three tournaments on tour this year – on three different golf courses,” Van Pelt said. “And he was leading the US Open after two days. So I’d say that he’s playing the best golf in the world right now.”
Australia’s Adam Scott finished in third place at five-under-par 279.