With a score of eight under par, Tiger Woods wons his 74th professional tournament, the 2012 AT&T National at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, MD on Sunday. The win passed allowed him to pass Jack Nicklaus for second place behind Sam Snead's 83 career wins. Woods' win also makes him #1 in the FedEx Standings after 100 weeks after he last did so in 2009, and made him the first three time winner of the 2012 season.
Bo van Pelt, the tournament runner-up, hung in there until the final holes when he wavered. However, experience helped Woods as he shot a final round of two under par, or 69. Bo's 71 on Sunday giving him second, and the third player of the final group, Brendon de Jonghe shot six-over for 77 after going into Sunday as the leader with six under for 54 holes.
The oppressive record setting heat of 104 for the Washington, D. C. area on Friday, and humidity all weekend had been a concern but the worst came when violent storms swept through the Washington area on Friday evening, knocking out power to thousands of homes and businesses. Sunday's temperature was milder at only 97 but Woods not only showed his fitness in such weather but his competitiveness and winning way.
After missing his driver badly on the 17th, it took a great amount of guts to pull out his driver out on the 18th hole with the tournament at stake. Everyone shuddered, and commentators remarked. Why not the 3-wood that he had hit so well all tournament long and play it safe? Not Woods.
Nerves hardly weighed in, and Woods did not choke or err when the ball hit perfectly in the fairway setting up his 74th win, and third ATT National at one of his favorite sites, the Congressional Club. Tiger felt no chagrin as the ball rattled the 18th cup. His smile and relief came out as he held up the winner's trophy.