Woods moves ahead of Nicklaus in career victory list

TIGER WOODS became the only three-time winner in the PGA Tour this season by holding off the spirited challenge of Bo Van Pelt in the final round of the AT&T National at the Congressional.

Woods, whose 74th win in a PGA tournament moved him past childhood idol Jack Nicklaus for second place in the all-time list behind only Sam Snead’s 82, shot a 2-under 69 in the final round to clinch the title with an 8-under 276 total.

He stayed at No. 4 in the world, but a couple of other rankings indicate how he is trending. Woods moved up to the top of the PGA Tour money list and the FedEx Cup standings for the first time since September 2009.

Van Pelt made him work for it.

Three times, Woods took the outright lead in the final round. Each time, Van Pelt made a birdie of his own to catch him.

Van Pelt had Woods on the ropes on the par-5 16th by ripping a 345-yard tee shot and having only a 6-iron into the green. Woods hit a spectator in the left rough with his tee shot, laid up, and then attacked a back flag only to see the ball tumble over the green and down an 8-foot slope. It looked as if it might be a two-shot swing for Van Pelt, or at least the lead going to the 17th.

But Van Pelt failed to cash in. His 6-iron was slightly heavy and didn’t quite reach the bunker, meaning he had to plant his feet in the sand and grip the wedge on the shaft for his third shot. He moved it only a few yards, still in the collar of the rough, and chipped about 12 feet by the hole. Woods’ chip up the slope rolled 15 feet by. Both missed their par putts to remain tied heading into the last two holes.

Woods wrapped up his round with routine pars while Van Pelt faded with a bogey-bogey finish. Noli Cruz

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