Tiger Woods tied golfing great Jack Nicklaus on Sunday by grabbing the 73rd win of his career at Memorial on Sunday. The victory tied Nicklaus for most PGA Tour victories at the very tournament created by Nicklaus. With the win, Woods seems rejuvenated enough to tie Nicklaus at another mark, 18 major championships. Woods currently has 14 on his resume with the U.S. Open slated to begin in 11 days. Woods birdied three of the last four holes to finish with a 5-under 67 in defeating Rory Sabbatini and Andres Romero. Woods finished the entire tournament with a 9-under 279 to win the Memorial for the fifth time in his career. Woods is only 36, which is 10 years younger than Nicklaus was when he won his 73rd tournament. The all-time record is held by Sam Snead with 82 wins.
In the broadcast booth, Nicklaus could not get past the shots Woods was making down the stretch. “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. 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.”
The tournament was held at Muifield Village, which is the fifth course where he has won at least five times. When Woods was asked if he has regained his form, Woods said, “I’ll let you guys figure that out.” The win was the second of the year for Woods and it moved him to No. 4 in the world.
“I had to take a cut at it because the lie wasn’t as great,” Woods said. “I went for it. I pulled it off. And for it to land as soft as it did was kind of a surprise, because it was baked out and it was also running away from me. It just fell in. I didn’t think it was going to get there at one point.”
Sabbatini knew what happened as he tried for par on the 15th green.
“I knew something was going on up in front,” said Sabbatini, who shot a 72. “I was really just trying to focus on my own game, and the only thing I could do was control what I was doing. I knew that I was going to have to put a good number up there.”