Tiger surges late to win Memorial

He birdies final two holes, wins by 1

The Associated PressJune 8, 2009 

No need to worry about Tiger Woods heading into the U.S. Open.

Woods broke away from a four-way tie for the lead Sunday at the Memorial with birdies on his final two holes, the last one a 7-iron that stopped a foot away from the cup for a 7-under 65 and a one-shot victory over Jim Furyk in Dublin, Ohio.

With a high-charged rally from a four-shot deficit, Woods revved up the crowd and silenced those who questioned his game heading into his title defense at Bethpage Black in two weeks.

He didn't miss a fairway in the final round, the first time he has done that in more than five years. He missed only five fairways all week, his most accurate tournament off the tee since the 1998 Masters.

Woods won the Memorial for a record fourth time, and tournament host Jack Nicklaus was there to greet him behind the 18th green. It was his second victory this year after missing eight months from knee surgery, and Woods figured he will only get better.

"I knew it was coming around," Woods said. "I just wasn't as consistent as I needed to be."

Furyk made a 20-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole for a 69 to finish alone in second.

"I just didn't beat one guy," Furyk said. "It [stinks] finishing second. But he played better. A 7 under on those greens and with the conditions we dealt with, that's pretty spectacular. ... I think he answered a lot of questions today."

Woods finished at 12-under 276 and won for the 67th time in his career. The timing could not have been better. He was within one shot of the lead going in to the back nine at Quail Hollow and made nothing better than par for a 72. He played in the final group at The Players Championship, couldn't find a fairway and closed with a 73.

On a firm, fast course under steamy sunshine at Muirfield Village, he was close to perfect.

Woods surged into contention with a chip-in for eagle out of gnarly rough behind the 11th green, following through with one hand and eventually using the other to pump his fist. He took his first lead with a two-putt birdie on the par-5 15th.

After a bogey from the bunker on the 16th, Woods was tied with Furyk, Jonathan Byrd and Davis Love III.

But not for long.

Woods hit his approach to 9 feet behind the hole on the 17th, and rolled it in for a birdie and the lead.

After hitting the fairway with a 3-iron on the 18th, he hit 7-iron from 183 yards and let another raucous cheer indicate the outcome.

Also Sunday

State Farm Classic: In-Kyung Kim finished with a flourish, sinking birdies on two of her final three holes to win by a stroke over Hall of Famer Se Ri Pak in Springfield, Ill.

Kim fired a 7-under 65 to finish at 17 under, giving the South Korean her second Tour victory along with a big momentum boost heading into the LPGA Championship next week at Bulle Rock. In the process, she denied Pak (66) her first win in two years.

Hee-Won Han (65), Jee Young Lee (66) and Angela Stanford (67) finished two shots behind Kim.

Third-round co-leader Cristie Kerr (70) finished at 14 under along with Eun-Hee Ji (63), Paula Creamer (65), Suzann Pettersen (68), Ai Miyazato (68), Amy Hung (68) and Jiyai Shin (70).

Wales Open: Jeppe Huldahl shot a 4-under 67 in Newport, Wales, to win by one stroke, giving the world's 377th ranked player his first European Tour title.

The Dane had four birdies and no bogeys in finishing at 9-under 275 at Celtic Manor. Niclas Fasth of Sweden birdied the last hole for a 5-under 66 to take second place, and Ignacio Garrido (69) of Spain was another shot back in third.

"I am so surprised at winning," Huldahl said. "I was so nervous on the last three holes, I couldn't feel my hands. Playing 18 was a very emotional experience."

Colin Montgomerie, Europe's Ryder Cup captain, closed with a 71 for 287 and tied for 37th. Rival U.S. captain Corey Pavin had a 73 for 288 and tied 43rd.

Triton Financial Classic: Bernhard Langer shot a final-round 67 and cruised to a six-shot victory over Mark O'Meara in in Lakeway, Texas.

Langer finished at 15-under 201 on The Hills Country Club course.

O'Meara shot a final-round 70, while Dana Quigley finished with a 69 to end up another shot back.

It was Langer's third Champions Tour victory of the season.

He was the leading money winner and Player of the Year on the Champions Tour last year.

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