Woods rallies for fourth Memorial title|
Dublin, OH (Sports Network) - After making bogey on the 16th hole Sunday to
fall into a tie for the lead, Tiger Woods birdied the final two holes to win
the Memorial Tournament for the fourth time.
Woods closed with a seven-under 65, which was the low round of the day by two
strokes, and finished his 67th PGA Tour win at 12-under-par 276, one clear of
"I had to make some adjustments and some expectations had to be lowered when I
first came back (from knee surgery). It was nice to get a win so early," said
Woods, who earned $1.08 million, of his victory at the Arnold Palmer
"It was even more gratifying now that I am able to hit shots that I know I can
The world's No. 1 player hit 49-of-56 fairways this week, which was second
best in the field. Woods also tied for third in greens in regulations at
Muirfield Village Golf Club.
"The driving this week was nice," said Woods, who hit all 14 fairways on
Sunday. "It was coming and it was a matter of time. It finally all came
together this week.
Furyk, the 2002 champion, birdied the final hole to take second place at
minus-11 thanks to a three-under 69. Jonathan Byrd closed with an even-par 72
to share third place at eight-under-par 280 with Mark Wilson (73).
Woods trailed by four entering the final round, but he started chipping away
at that deficit as he poured in a 38-foot birdie putt on the second. Woods
sank a seven-footer for birdie on four and got up and down for birdie at the
par-five fifth to move to eight-under.
After a par on six, Woods drained a six-footer for birdie on seven and was
tied for the lead at minus-nine. However, he just missed the green on the par-
three eighth and that led to his first bogey of the round.
Woods parred his next two holes, then chipped in for eagle on the par-five
11th. That moved Woods to 10-under, where he trailed Byrd by one shot.
"You could ask for a worse lie. It was just gnarly," said Woods of his lie
behind the green on No. 11. "It just so happened to come out good and went
Woods parred his next three holes before a two-putt par on the 15th gave him a
share of the lead at 11-under. Woods tripped to a bogey on 16 after missing
That bogey left him in a four-way tie for the lead. (Seven different players
shared the top spot on the leaderboard at some point in the final round.)
Woods atoned for that mistake in classic fashion. He dropped his approach
within nine feet on the 17th and rolled that putt in for birdie and the lead.
Earlier this week, Woods birdied the 18th to force a playoff in a Skins game
and then chipped in on the same hole to win that event.
On Sunday, Woods was almost able to leave the putter in the bag. His second to
the par-four closing hole stopped 14 inches from the hole. Woods kicked that
in for birdie, and the victory was sealed when neither Furyk nor Byrd could
hole their second shot on 18.
"It was a matter of being patient with it," said Woods of the comeback from
knee surgery. "It was a matter of time before I could start practicing after
rounds again and I have only been doing that for a couple of tournaments. It
is just a matter of staying with it and being patient with it. I knew it was
coming around, I just haven't been as consistent as I wanted to be."
Furyk did not look like he was going to be a factor on the front nine as he
carded two bogeys and two birdies to make the turn in minus-eight.
The 39-year-old birdied the 11th from nine feet out, then got to 10-under with
a four-foot birdie effort on 12. Furyk parred the next five holes and briefly
was tied for the lead when Woods made bogey on 16.
Furyk needed to hole his second at the last to force a playoff, but instead
left himself 22 feet. He drained that putt for birdie to collect his fifth
top-10 at the Memorial and second runner-up finish.
Matt Bettencourt, who shared the lead with Wilson entering the final round,
stumbled to a three-over 75. He finished in a tie for fifth at six-under-par
282. That is by far his best finish on the PGA Tour. Bettencourt shared fifth
with Matt Kuchar (71) and Davis Love III, who had rallied to tie the lead
before closing bogey-triple bogey.
Stewart Cink (71) and Ernie Els (72) shared eighth at minus-five.
06/07 19:19:26 ET