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Tiger Records Triple Crown

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You've probably heard this one before. An unheralded player takes Tiger Woods to the limit. Yet, Tiger prevails. It happened at the PGA Championship in Louisville, Ky. Three weeks later, the scenario played itself out again. This time in Oakville, Ontario, Canada.
 
Woods staked a brilliant fairway bunker shot on the 72nd hole en route to a birdie 4, and a one-shot victory over a valiant Grant Waite. It's Tiger's third win in as many starts on the PGA Tour, and his ninth of the season.
 
Woods and Waite began the final round at the Glen Abbey Golf Club in a tie for the lead at 15-under-par. Sunday, both men carded 3-under-par 33s on the front nine to remain in a share of first with nine holes to play.
 
The two stayed deadlocked at 18-under entering the par-5 13th. It was the first of three par-5s over the final six holes.
 
Advantage Tiger.
 
But, Waite had battled Woods shot-for shot on Sunday. And the Kiwi wasn't going to just lie down for the champ.
 
Waite, who finished runner-up a week ago at the Air Canada Championship, drained a 12-foot birdie putt at the 13th to take the lead at 19-under. It was only momentary, however, as Woods rolled in a 3-footer on top of him.
 
As they did on 13, both men carded matching birdies at the par-4 14th. The two were now at 20-under for the tournament - seven shots lower than the tournament's 72-hole scoring record at Glen Abbey.
 
To the par-3 15th they traversed - a special hole for Woods. Friday, Tiger began a four-hole stretch of 6-under-par at the 150-yard hole. Saturday, he birdied the par-3 again, just before eagling the par-5 16th.
 
It appeared as if Sunday would prove no different. Woods was 12 feet from taking sole possession of the lead. But this time, he missed. He didn't miss by much, but he did miss.
 
Three holes to play. Two par-5s remaining. Advantage Tiger.
 
At the 16th, a crowd distraction led to a pushed tee shot by Waite. Grant was forced to lay-up from the right trees, and eventually made par.
 
Woods, on the other hand, found the fairway with his driver. He then found the green with a 7-iron. Again he was 12 feet from taking the solo lead. This time, he made it.
 
At 21-under, Tiger led by one with two to play.
 
In a reversal of fortune, Tiger found trouble off the tee at the par-4 17th. His drive nestled into an awful lie in the right rough. Playing for the left greenside bunker, Woods successfully found the beach. He then proceeded to get up and down to save par - the same score Waite posted.
 
At the par-5 18th, Tiger once more found some sand. But it wasn't on purpose. Woods' tee shot 'flared to the right,' into a fairway bunker. Meanwhile, Waite was nicely positioned in the fairway.
 
Waite's second shot to the par-5 landed softly onto the green - 30 feet from the pin.
 
Advantage Waite.
 
That's when Tiger showed why he's not just the best golfer in the world, but also, arguably the greatest athlete in any sport.
 
Two-hundred-and-16 yards to the pin, Woods pulled a 6-iron. A gutsy play. There was nothing, save water, awaiting a miss-hit. But Tiger doesn't miss when he needs to make. Woods flew a perfect shot, right over the flagstick, into the back fringe, behind the hole ten feet.
 
Advantage Tiger.
 
Waite needed to eagle the home hole in order to keep alive any chance he had of winning his first PGA Tour event since the 1993 Kemper Open. He did so on Friday, yet he couldn't recall the magic on Sunday. Waite tapped in for birdie, leaving Tiger with a routine up and down for his 24th career Tour triumph. After opening in even-par 72, Woods carded rounds of 65-64-65 for a 22-under-par performance.
 
'Tiger comes up with the shots when he needs them,' said Waite, who carded a six birdie, no bogey 66 in the final round. 'I'm very happy.obviously, I'm disappointed I didn't win either of the tournaments in Canada. But I played well and I have to carry that with me.'
 
'It was wonderful to be able to play toe-to-toe,' said Woods, who added another $558,000 to his bank account. 'It was very similar to the PGA. We never made a mistake.'
 
Sunday's spectacular play north of the border was reminiscent to that of what took place in the Bluegrass state exactly three weeks ago. It was then, and there, that little known Bob May fired a bogey-free 66 to force Woods into a playoff at the PGA Championship - a playoff in which Woods would prevail.
 
With this victory, Tiger adds another 'Triple' to his resume. He won three consecutive U.S. Junior Amateur titles. He won three consecutive U.S. Amateur titles. He won three majors this year. And now, he's won three National Opens in the same season.
 
Tiger joins Lee Trevino (1971) as the only men to win the U.S. Open, British Open and Canadian Opens in the same calendar year.
 
'It's a (big win),' said Woods. 'To be in that elite company - it's very humbling.'
 
The rest of the Tour can now rest easy, as Tiger takes a break from the game. Woods will get a little rest of his own over the next five weeks, returning to competition for the Presidents Cup at Lake Manassas, Virginia in mid-October.