No one can beat Tiger Woods when the pressure is on.
With his lead cut to one stroke, Woods took aim at an eight-foot birdie putt on No. 8. Before the ball dropped, he lifted his putter and pumped his fist. The crowd roared, and Woods turned, smiled and gave a little wave.
All that was left for his second Western Open title was to engrave the trophy. He added two birdies on the back nine as he finished with a 1-under 71, giving him a 15-under 273 for the tournament.
Woods regained the No. 1 ranking with the victory, his third on the PGA Tour this season and third win in four starts, including a tournament in Germany. He earned $450,000 for the victory at Cog Hill Golf and Country Club, giving him $2,545,990 in winnings this year.
When Woods won two years ago, fans broke through security and followed him up the 18th fairway. They were calmer this year, giving Woods a standing ovation from behind the ropes. Woods waved and tipped his black baseball cap as he walked to the last green.
Mike Weir, who had three birdies on the first seven holes to threaten Woods, ran into trouble on the back nine. He bogeyed 10, 13 and 14 for a 70 and finished three strokes back at 276.
Brent Geiberger, who made a late charge with a 69, was third at 277. Stuart Appleby, who shared the lead with Woods after the second round, shot a 77 and finished tied for 13th with a 283.
Woods began the day with a four-stroke lead, bad news for everyone else in the field. Of the eight tournaments he has led going into the final round, he has won all but the Quad City Classic in 1996, just a few weeks after he turned pro.