DUBLIN, Ohio – A spectacular chip-in at the 16th hole on Sunday provided Tiger Woods with the edge he needed to win the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance for the fifth time in his career.
The legendary Jack Nicklaus, who hosts the tournament, told Woods the shot was the "best I've ever seen here." The former world No. 1 wasn't done yet, though, as Woods made a 9-footer for birdie at the 18th hole to seal the win.
Woods closed with a 67 that tied for the low round of the day and lifted him to 9 under for the tournament. He birdied three of his last four holes to hold off Rory Sabbatini and Andres Romero by two strokes.
"I hit it good today," Woods told CBS announcer Peter Kostis after the round. "That was some good stuff out there today. I never really missed a shot today. As Sean (Foley, his swing coach) likes to say -- go out and put on a stripe show today."
The victory was the 73rd of Woods' career and ties him with Nicklaus for second all-time. Only Sam Snead has more with 82. Woods is 10 years younger than Nicklaus was when he won his 73rd at the 1986 Masters.
"It's been pretty nice," Woods said. "A nice run since I turned pro. To do it at age 36 is not too shabby. A am proud of what I've done so far. I feel like I've got lots of good years left."
Woods will resume his pursuit of Nicklaus' record 18 majors in another week at the U.S. Open at the Olympic Club as one of three two-time winners on the PGA TOUR in 2012.
5:50 p.m. – Rory Sabbatini chipped to 6 feet and made the putt for par to shoot 72 and finish tied for second at the Memorial Tournament, two strokes behind Tiger Woods. Spencer Levin, the overnight leader, also made par and tied for fourth at 5 under after closing with a 75 and a disappointing 40 on the back nine.
5:43 p.m. – Standing on the upslope beside the fairway bunker, Rory Sabbatini launches his approach to the 18th green. When it settles in the tall grass behind the green, Tiger Woods has won his fifth Memorial Tournament title.
5:35 p.m. – Rory Sabbatini didn’t do himself any favors when he dunked his second shot at the par-4 17th into a greenside bunker. He blasted out to 4 feet and made the putt for par but now he needs to hole his second shot to deprive Tiger Woods of his fifth Memorial Tournament win.
5:32 p.m. – Tiger Woods delivered the knock-out punch at the 18th hole when he made a 9-footer for his third birdie in the last four holes to open a two-stroke advantage over Rory Sabbatini.
5:24 p.m. -- Andres Romero sees the next 30 minutes or so as a win-win situation. “Nothing is lost,” he said. “I will wait until the last putt, and if I have to go for a playoff, I will be more than happy to do it, otherwise I'm super satisfied with what I did.”
5:21 p.m. – His 20-footer for birdie at the 17th hole refuses to fall but Tiger Woods still leads by one as he prepares to tee off on the final hole at Muirfield Village.
5:19 p.m. – Tiger Woods leads alone now after Rory Sabbatini finds the right greenside bunker, blasts to 11 feet and misses the par putt. He had to make a 3-footer to stay within a shot of Woods.
5:08 p.m. – After the noise died down, Rory Sabbatini made his 4-footer for par at the 15th hole. He and Woods are tied at 8 under.
5:05 p.m. – Don’t look now but Tiger Woods just holed a 50-foot downhill chip to the par-3 16th to tie Rory Sabbatini for the lead. An uppercut seldom seen of late followed as the crowd roared its approval.
5:03 p.m. – Andres Romero just made a 7-foot birdie putt at the 18th hole to shoot 67 and post 7 under. Don’t think he’ll be going anywhere, do you?
4:57 p.m. – Tiger Woods has pulled within a shot after two-putting the 15th for birdie from 21 feet. But the leader, Rory Sabbatini, and Spencer Levin, who trails by two, are also playing the par 5.
4:46 p.m. – Rory Sabbatini’s 14-footer for birdie at the par-4 14th hole died on the right edge. He still leads by two. Spencer Levin has joined the group at 6 under with an 11-footer for birdie on the same hole.
4:39 p.m. – Things just got worse for Spencer Levin as he double-bogeyed the 13th hole from the right rough and the left greenside bunker, missing from 9 feet for his 5. He’s dropped back to 5 under and is three off the lead.
4:32 p.m. – Tiger Woods hit his second shot into the rough behind the green at the 14th hole, chipped to 3 feet and made the putt for par to remain two behind Rory Sabbatini. Meanwhile, Jonathan Byrd has joined Woods and Andres Romero at 6 under with a two-putt birdie at the par-5 15th.
4:24 p.m. – Andres Romero made a 7-footer for eagle at the 15th hole to join Tiger Woods at 6 under, two strokes off the pace. Woods has just two-putted the 13th hole for par from 27 feet.
4:20 p.m. – We have our first change at the top of the leaderboard at the par-3 12th. Rory Sabbatini made a 3-footer for his second straight birdie to move to 8 under as his playing partner, Spencer Levin, bogeyed. Levin found the greenside bunker, blasted out to the fringe and chipped to 5 feet for his second bogey in three holes.
4:12 p.m. – Tiger Woods finally made par at the 12th hole – but it wasn’t easy. His tee shot at the par 3, where he had made double bogey and bogey the last two days – landed on the left side of the green, 86 feet from the pin. He putted to 6 feet and made the putt for par to remain at 6 under.
4:08 p.m. – Rory Sabbatini made a 3-footer for birdie at the par-5 11th hole to move within a shot of Spencer Levin, who got up and down for par from the rough beside the green, making a putt from 6 feet to save.
3:58 p.m. – After making birdie on both of the par 5s on the front nine, Tiger Woods faced a 7-footer for another at the 11th hole He left the putt just short, though, and remains two behind Spencer Levin with seven holes remaining.
3:48 p.m. – Spencer Levin found the fairway bunker off the tee at No. 10, then sculled his second shot off the sand and just back into the short grass. He still had a chance at par, but two-putted from 19 feet. So he heads to the 11th tee 8 under and leading by two, but Tiger Woods has a chance at birdie up ahead.
3:39 p.m. – For the second straight day, Tiger Woods has bogeyed the 10th hole. He hit his second shot into the left greenside bunker, blasted out and missed a 13-footer to save par. So Woods falls to 6 under for the tournament and his is now tied with Rory Sabbatini, three shots behind Spencer Levin.
3:34 p.m. – Rory Sabbatini found the back fringe at the ninth hole, putted cautiously down toward the pin and the water, then lipped out his 7-footer to save par. So he’s now three behind his playing partner, Spencer Levin, who made par, as they head to the back nine.
3:22 p.m. – Tiger Woods heads to the back nine at 7 under after two-putting the ninth hole from 35 feet for par. His playing partner, Rickie Fowler, only made two pars on the front nine and shot 40 so he’s just 1 under for the tournament.
3:18 p.m. – A solid up-and-down from the back left greenside bunker at the par-3 eighth has kept Spencer Levin at 9 under and two shots clear of Rory Sabbatini and Tiger Woods. Levin made an 8-footer there to save par.
3:05 p.m. – Tiger Woods just gave one shot back when he found the greenside bunker at No. 8, blasted out and missed a 20-footer to save par. So he now trails Spencer Levin, who was unable to birdie the par-5 seventh, but two strokes.
2:58 p.m. – Make that three straight for Tiger Woods. He reached the par-5 seventh in two and his 32-foot eagle putt teased the hole before he tapped in for birdie. Woods is now 8 under and one stroke behind Spencer Levin.
2:40 p.m. – Watch out. Here comes Tiger. He’s just made his second straight birdie – raising his putter in salute as the as the ball finds the cup – to move to 7 under and two strokes off the lead. The cover comes off the driver as he prepares to tee off at the par-5 seventh.
2:38 p.m. – Consecutive birdie putts of 6 and 13 feet have moved Andres Romero to 5 under for the tournament. He’s tied with Aaron Baddeley, four strokes back.
2:36 p.m. – We’ve now had two 67s posted. Greg Owen used his to move to 2 under for the tournament while J.B. Holmes got back to even.
2:26 p.m. – Tiger Woods and Rickie Fowler have both birdied the par-5 fifth hole. Woods got up and down from the left side of the green, holing a 5-footer, while Fowler hit his approach to the back fringe and ended up making a 7-footer. Woods is three behind. Fowler, who is back to 3 under, has yet to make a par.
2:21 p.m. – Aaron Baddeley just rolled in a 14-footer for birdie at the par-5 seventh hole to move to 5 under for the tournament. It was his fourth birdie of the day against one bogey.
2:18 p.m. – Both players in the final group missed the green at the par-3 fourth hole. Levin was able to make his saving putt from 6 feet while Sabbatini missed from 8. The margin is back to two strokes.
2:10 p.m. – Rory Sabbatini has gained a stroke on his playing partner, Spencer Levin, with an 8-footer for birdie at No. 3 to move to 8 under. Levin missed a birdie opportunity of his own from 10 feet.
2:08 p.m. – Rickie Fowler found his third straight greenside bunker, this time at the fourth hole, and once again was unable to save par, missing an 8-footer on the way to a bogey. He’s now 3 over for the day and 2 under for the tournament. Tiger Woods two-putted from 22 feet for par.
2:01 p.m. – Spencer Levin and Rory Sabbatini both missed birdie putts on the second hole. Levin’s was from 24 feet while Sabbatini had 13. So the gap is still two shots.
1:57 p.m. – Tiger Woods bent over in frustration after his 20-footer for birdie at No. 3 curled under the cup. Rickie Fowler, meanwhile, made double bogey – finding the right greenside bunker, then missing a pair of 6-footers before finally holing a putt from 3 for double bogey. Woods now owns third alone at 5 under, four back, while Fowler has dropped into a big tie at 3 under.
1:47 p.m. – Tiger Woods just got his first birdie, sinking a 7-footer after backing off once as the wind whipped across the green. Rickie Fowler, on the other hand, gave the stroke he gained at No. 1 back as he was unable to get up and down from a greenside bunker, missing a 12-footer to save. Both are 5 under and four back.
1:45 p.m. – Spencer Levin wasted little time setting a positive tone for the day, making an 11-footer for birdie to grab a two-stroke edge on his playing partner, Rory Sabbatini.
1:30 p.m. – Rickie Fowler made a 14-footer for birdie on his first hole to move to 6 under. Fowler’s pplaying partner, Tiger Woods, two-putted for par.
1:22 p.m. – Jonathan Byrd and Aaron Baddeley are on the move. Byrd birdied his first hole to get to 4 under while the Aussie has joined him with birdies at Nos. 1 and 3.
1:03 p.m. – Hunter Mahan and K.J. Choi have posted the low rounds of the day – so far – with 68s. Mahan, who already has two PGA TOUR wins in 2012, birdied three of his last five holes while Choi made six birdies and two bogeys in his round. Both finished 72 holes at 2 over.
12:45 p.m. – There are a lot more red numbers on the leaderboards at Muirfield Village right now than at this time on Saturday. Stewart Cink, for example, has birdied three of his first five holes to move from 1 over for the tournament to 2 under.
12:30 p.m. – Sunday is a chamber of commerce day in Dublin. The sun’s shining, there’s no threat of rain and the temperature will top out in the upper 70s. Winds gusting toward 30 mph could present a challenge, though, particularly as the afternoon progresses.