TULSA, Oklahoma (Reuters) -- Tiger Woods survived a few anxious moments on the back nine to clinch his fourth U.S. PGA Championship and 13th major title with a two-shot victory Sunday.
Woods has become only the third player to win at least four PGA Championships.
Three strokes clear going into the final round, the world number one fired a one-under-par 69 for an eight-under total of 272, finishing ahead of fellow American Woody Austin (67) at a sun-baked Southern Hills Country Club.
South African Ernie Els birdied four of the first 10 holes on his way to a six-birdie 66 and third place at five under.
Woods, who claimed his 59th PGA Tour title, became only the third player to win at least four PGA Championships. Fellow Americans Jack Nicklaus and Walter Hagen won five apiece.
"I made a mess of it there on 14," Woods told reporters, referring to his third and final bogey of the day. "Woody was playing well and Ernie Els was making a move and I just knew I needed somehow to bear down.
"When I got to the 15th tee, I said: 'All right, you've got yourself into this mess, now earn your way out of it. And I made a birdie there at 15, which was huge."
Overwhelming favorite at the start of another stifling day, Woods briefly stretched his lead to five when he rolled in a curling 30-footer from the fringe at the par-three eighth.
As the ball dropped into the hole, he pumped his fist in celebration.
However, the 31-year-old then bogeyed the uphill ninth to reach the turn in one-under 34 and also faltered at the par-three 14th, where his par putt from five feet lipped out.
At that point, his lead had been trimmed to one with Austin and Els his closest challengers.
With typical timing, though, Woods hit back with a birdie at the par-four 15th, calmly rolling in a 12-footer to restore his two-stroke cushion. He safely parred the last three holes to ensure he ended another year with at least one major title.
"I took my time on the first putt and with the second putt I made sure everything was okay," Woods said of his two-putt par four at the treacherous 18th hole.
After his ball dropped into the cup, the game's leading player removed his cap and lifted both arms into the air to acknowledge the roars from the crowd packed around the green.
Three-times major winner Els rued a few missed putts after posting his fourth top-five finish in the PGA Championship.
"I made a lot of putts today but I missed one on nine and one on 11 and that probably cost me," the 37-year-old said after covering the back nine in one-under 34. E-mail to a friend
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