On the first Sunday in July, Tiger Woods won his third tour-leading championship of the season at the AT&T National Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md. The win signaled that his long journey back to the top of the pro golf circuit may well be complete and he’s ready to once again dominate the PGA circuit.

It was career win No. 74 for Woods, but it wasn’t an easy, runaway tour victory. He has now passed Jack Nicklaus (73 career wins), leaving him eight wins away from career win leader Sammy Sneed and his 82 tour wins.

The drama played out over 18 holes, as Bo Van Pelt matched Woods par-for-par, birdie-for-birdie and shot-for-shot over 17 holes before a poor tee shot approaching 18 cost him the victory. Woods went 41 consecutive holes without a bogey.

A great approach shot at 18 sealed the win for Woods, who closed at two under 69.

“He’s an amazing player,” said Van Pelt. “We’ve known each other for over 20 years. This is why you travel 30 weeks a year, make sacrifices: to have the opportunity to play the best player in the world with a chance to win. I missed a pair of birdie putts at 15 feet. That was the difference.”

Woods and Van Pelt will both tee off today (Thursday) at the Greenbrier Classic in Greenbrier, W.Va., hosted by the Greenbrier Resort, which dates back to 1778.