Woods won for the 74th time as he held off Bo Van Pelt on the back nine of the Blue Course at scorching Congressional Country Club to win the AT&T National on Sunday. Woods trails Sam Snead, who had 82 wins.
With a final-round, 2-under-par 69, Woods beat Van Pelt by two shots and became the first to win three times on the PGA Tour this season. It is the 12th season in which Woods has won at least three times. Woods has won three of his last seven starts and his 30-month winless drought on Tour after a late-night car accident in November 2009 is becoming a distant memory.
“Pretty much everything,” Woods said when asked which parts of his game have improved this year. “I remember there was a time when people were saying I could never win again. That was, I think, what, six months ago?
“Well, here we are.”
Woods, who went 41 holes without a bogey until he made 6 on the par-5 16th, took the outright lead by sinking a 6-foot par putt on the 17th as Van Pelt, who was trying to win for the second time in 310 starts on the Tour, made bogey. Woods made par on the 18th to finish at 8 under. Van Pelt shot 71. Adam Scott (67) finished third.
Woods, despite the win, remained at No. 4 in the world golf rankings behind No. 1 Luke Donald, No. 2 Rory McIlroy and No. 3 Lee Westwood. But Van Pelt, after playing the final 36 holes with Woods, said he knows who No. 1 is.
Is he back?