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Woods back to winning ways

TIGER Woods came from four strokes behind to win the Memorial tournament by a shot on Sunday, sealing his 67th PGA Tour victory with a dramatic birdie-birdie finish.

Helped by one of the best driving displays of his career, the world No. 1 rammed in a 9-footer at the 17th before hitting an exquisite approach to 14 inches at the par-4 last.

He tapped in the putt for his seventh birdie of the day and a 7-under par 65 at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, before removing his cap to acknowledge the roars from the crowd.

Woods won the tournament for a record fourth time with a 12-under total of 276, finishing ahead of fellow American Jim Furyk who rolled in a 22-foot birdie putt at the 18th for a 69.

"That was unbelievable," tournament host Jack Nicklaus said to Woods as he shook hands with the 14-time major champion on the edge of the 18th green.

American Jonathan Byrd, who held a 2-shot lead with six holes to play, battled over the tough closing stretch to card a 72 and share third place at eight under with compatriot Mark Wilson.

Tour veteran Davis Love III was a further two strokes back after closing with a 73, level with Americans Matt Kuchar (71) and co-leader overnight Matt Bettencourt (75).

Woods, sidelined for the second half of last year while recovering from reconstructive knee surgery, was delighted to win his second PGA Tour title this season in just seven starts.

"It was just about being patient," the 33-year-old told reporters after shooting the lowest round of the day.

"It was a matter of time because I was able to start practising after rounds again, and I had only been doing that for a couple of tournaments. I knew it was coming around."

Woods hit a perfect 14 of 14 fairways in Sunday's final round, arguably the best teebox performance of his career on one of the PGA Tour's toughest courses.

"The driving this week was nice," he said after starting the last round four shots off the pace. "It was coming. It was just a matter of time. I finally put it together this week."

In Newport, Wales, Denmark's Jeppe Huldahl, ranked 377th in the world, completed a surprise win in the Wales Open on Sunday.

A faultless closing 4-under par 67 for a 9-under 275 four-round total by the player lying 188th on the European rankings coming into the event left Huldahl one stroke better than 6-time tour winner Niclas Fasth of Sweden (66).

Huldahl, 26, shared the lead when the weather-affected third round was finished on Sunday morning and moved a shot ahead on his own by the turn before immediately coming under pressure from the experienced Fasth.

A chip-in eagle on the 11th helped Fasth catch Huldahl and he still shared the lead after 15 holes.

However, a combination of bogeys on 16 and 17 by the Swede and a composed finish by the Dane earned him the US$485,000 first prize. His previous best finish had been tied 12th.


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