Woods climbs world rankings
Tiger Woods could be back at world number one by the time he heads to Royal Lytham next month for the Open Championship.
Everything seems possible again for Woods after he produced what Jack Nicklaus called "one of the most incredible shots you will ever see" en route to winning a fifth Memorial Tournament.
Event host Nicklaus was among the first to congratulate the 36-year-old as he matched his 73 PGA Tour victories, leaving only Sam Snead to catch on 82.
"He had to rub it in my face right here, didn't he?" Nicklaus said, to great laughter. "No, if he's going to do it, which he was obviously going to, I'd like to see it happen here.
"That was good. That was great."
Woods, back up to fourth in the rankings, now hopes to move three behind the Golden Bear's 18-major record at next week's US Open in San Francisco.
He has been stuck on 14 for four years, but if he wins at the Olympic Club the number one spot - currently in the hands of Luke Donald - will be in range again.
The magic shot came at Muirfield Village's short 16th.
Woods was one behind Rory Sabbatini and over the green in rough. The flag was down a slope and beyond it was a lake.
"It was where he had to land it, what he had to do and what the penalties were if he didn't make it," Nicklaus said.
"Unbelievable. If he hits it short the tournament's over, if he hits it long the tournament's over and he put it in the hole.
"What a shot. I don't think under the circumstances I've ever seen a better shot."
It impressed Woods too. He gave one of his famous fist-pumps and roars as the ball dropped and after adding another birdie at the last spoke about yet another comeback win.
This was his third in six months, but followed finishes of 40th at the Masters and Players Championship and a missed cut at Quail Hollow in between.
He said: "To pull off that shot at 16 was pretty sweet, but to be able to tie Jack at 73 wins - and to do it at such a young age - feels really special."
Nicklaus was 46 when his 73rd came in the 1986 Masters.
"It wouldn't have been so bad if the lie was better, but the lie was sketchy enough where it brought water into play," Woods added.
"That's one of the reasons why I took such a big cut at it, so if I missed it I missed it short.
"I went for it and for it to land as soft as it did was kind of a surprise because it was baked out and it was also downhill running away from me.
"It just fell in. I didn't think it was going to get there at one point - kind of like 16 at Augusta (in 2005), I thought I was going to leave it short somehow and then it fell in.
"I was trying to get it inside eight to 10 feet.
"Today was fun because I striped it. The only shot I double-crossed was the second on 10 - other than that it was just every shot was exactly the shape, the trajectory, the distance control.
"I had it all today, shape off tees, whatever club I wanted to hit I could hit. That was fun to have it when I needed it."
And so it is Olympic Club next stop - he also went to the Masters on the back of a win and was all over the show there - then the AT&T National at the end of the month, the Greenbrier Classic on July 5-8 and then Lytham a fortnight later.
Hello, regular commenting on Orange News and Sport pages closes on Thursday 30 May 2013. We will continue to provide a commenting facility on major news and sport events on orangeworld.co.uk. Contact us via http://oran.ge/OWfeedback if you have any further questions. Thanks.