The flight of his shot into the 18th green was so pure that Tiger Woods immediately started walking and twirled his club, knowing that it effectively wrapped up another win at the AT&T National. Making it even more special was the sound of thousands of fans at Congressional to see it.
One day after spectators were kept away from the golf course because of debris from a violent wind storm, they returned Sunday in full force and got what they expected -- Woods in his red shirt, outlasting Bo Van Pelt in a back-nine duel, and posing with another trophy.
"Yesterday was a silent day," Woods said. "I think everyone saved up for today. What an atmosphere to play in front of."
Woods closed with a 2-under 69 -- at one point going 41 holes without a bogey on a Congressional course that was tougher than when it held the U.S. Open last year -- and won for the third time this year. It was the 74th win of his career, moving him past Jack Nicklaus into second place on the PGA Tour, eight short of Sam Snead's record.
Not bad for a guy who only five months ago walked off the course at Doral with another injury to his left Achilles tendon.
"I remember there was a time when people were saying I could never win again," Woods said.
He stayed at No. 4 in the world, but a couple of other rankings indicate how he is trending. Woods moved to the top of the PGA Tour money list and the FedEx Cup standings for the first time since September 2009.
And this win puts him in a position to reclaim No. 1 over the final two majors of the year. The ranking is based on points over two years. If it were a vote, Van Pelt knows how he would cast his ballot.
"I think he's the only guy to win three tournaments on tour this year, is that correct?" he said. "On three different golf courses. And he was leading the U.S. Open after two days. So I'd say that he's playing the best golf in the world right now."
Adam Scott went out in 31 and was briefly tied for the lead until a few bogeys on the back nine. He had to settle for a 67, which put him alone in third at 5 under.
Joe Daley won the Senior Players Championship for his first Champions Tour title, closing with a 2-under 68 for a two-stroke victory over Tom Lehman.
The 51-year-old Daley, winless in his brief PGA Tour career, had a 14-under 266 total at Fox Chapel and earned $405,000 and full Champions Tour status for a calendar year.
Lehman finished with a 69. Olin Browne was third at 11 under after a 65. Mark Calcavecchia, tied with Daley for the third-round lead, had a 72 to match 2011 winner Fred Couples at 10 under. Couples finished with a 71.
NW Arkansas Championship:
Ai Miyazato shot a 6-under 65 to overcome a five-shot deficit and win the NW Arkansas Championship for her second LPGA Tour victory of the year and ninth overall.
The Japanese star made a 5-foot birdie putt on No. 18 to reach 12 under for the tournament, and her victory at Pinnacle Country Club was secured when Mika Miyazato missed a 15-foot birdie attempt on No. 18. Ai Miyazato had 7 birdies and 1 bogey in the final round to finish a stroke ahead of Miyazato and Azahara Munoz.
Jamie Donaldson of Wales won his first European Tour title by shooting a 6-under 66 to clinch a 4-stroke victory at the Irish Open. Donaldson birdied five of his last seven holes to shoot a fourth straight round in the 60s to total 18-under 270 and end an 11-year trophy drought that covered 255 tournaments.