Tiger Woods has just a few moments ago won his third PGA Tour tournament of 2012, the AT&T National at Congressional in Bethesda, Maryland; NBC reports:
BETHESDA, Md. - Tiger Woods won for the third time this year by outlasting Bo Van Pelt in a back-nine duel Sunday in the AT&T National.Woods closed with a 2-under 69 and won for the 74th time on the PGA Tour, moving past Jack Nicklaus and into second place on the tour's career list. He is eight wins away from catching Sam Snead.Van Pelt had Woods on the ropes until a surprising turnaround on the par-5 16th, where both players made bogeys and remained tied. Van Pelt flew the 17th green and had to scramble for bogey, giving Woods a one-shot lead that he did not give back.Woods moved to the top of the PGA Tour money list and the FedEx Cup standings for the first time since September 2009.
Just two records remain to be toppled by Woods. As the story above notes, Woods has now surpassed Jack Nicklaus for second in the most PGA Tour victories. His 74th tournament win leaves him just eight behind Sam Snead.
Woods is still no closer though to golf's Holy Grail; the most wins in Majors. He is still four behind Nicklaus' total of 18. But as Nick Faldo noted this morning as the final group played the last hole, Woods has had his best success in Majors when he has been winning regularly on tour. He now has three wins since March, and as David Fehrety (one of the other commentaters) remarked to Woods in the post-round interview is putting and playing "like someone I used to know".
We have no doubt whatsoever that Woods will win another Major, and once he wins one, who knows. And bear this in mind; Tiger Woods is 36, whereas Jack Nicklaus was 46 when he won his 18th and final Major, the 1986 Masters. Father Time is on Tiger's side.
Lastly, play in the third round was amongst the most surreal we have ever seen. The storms lashing the US hit Congressional in a brief but violent burst on Friday night (US time). As the photograph at the top shows, there was a tremendous amount of damage done to the tree-lined Congressional course. A Herculian clean-up effort allowed play to start early on Saturday afternoon, but the amount of damage off the fairway saw the organisers close the course to spectators out of safety concerns. It was bizarre to watch the world's best players fighting it out in absolute silence on an empty golf course; just like the average club golfer does, only at a slightly better standard!