Tiger Woods Wins His First Title In Five Years


The 42-year-old Woods - who had spinal fusion surgery less than a year ago - had not won a title since August 2013, but claimed his 80th PGA Tour title in Atlanta, parring the final round to finish 11-under.

This felt just as big as a major, maybe better considering where Woods had been.

Woods entered Sunday's round with a three-stroke lead over his nearest challengers, Justin Rose, the world No.1, and Rory McIlroy, a former No.1, and a 23-0 record when entering a final round leading by at least three strokes.

So as he played a course on which he had won one of his two previous Tour Championship titles, he did relish the grind and the fight even as he did not relish "where I kept leaving myself". I've had hot weeks and you win, but - you can be in the midst of average play, but this comes through consistency for me. "We'll see what happens". Rose got a $10 million bonus for his efforts.

He entered the final round with a three-stroke lead over his nearest challengers and a flawless 23-0 record when entering the final round leading by at least three strokes. And within the opening hour, the Tour Championship had that inevitable feeling.

Woods finished right behind Rose at No. 2 in the FedEx Cup standings.

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"At the beginning of the year, it was a tall order but as the year progressed and I proved I could play, I knew I could do it again".

"As far as greatest comebacks, I think that one of the greatest comebacks in all of sport is the gentleman who won here, Mr Hogan", Woods said ahead of the Masters in April.

"I just can't believe I pulled this off", added a visibly emotional Woods during the presentation ceremony. "It doesn't matter who it is I'm playing with". Perhaps the most remarkable statistic of all is that in 2018 he has taken part in 18 tournaments. He has given himself the cushion he has craved, the advantage from which he was seemingly so unbeatable during his prime.

Woods opened with a birdie, while Rory McIlroy made bogey from the bunker on the fourth hole. It was his 80th win on the PGA Tour, and his first since 2013. And so - I was beyond playing. I couldn't have done it without the help of all the people around me. Onlookers packed three-, four- and 10-deep at the ropes, their T-shirts bearing slogans such as "The Return", and "He's Back", and "If Anyone Can", plus the familiar "Make Sunday Great Again". Back in March, he finished tied for second and tied for fifth at the Valspar and Arnold Palmer Invitational, respectively.

Tiger had his sights set on a 59 in the early going after draining six birdies in his first seven holes. At that point, he led by 5. He settled for a 65, the lowest score of the day. "Suck it up and let's hit some shots here". I just didn't want to live that way.