The victory at Atlanta’s East Lake Golf Club was Woods’s first since 2013, and the intervening period featured the 14-time major victor struggling with back woes and personal issues to the point where some wondered if he would ever play competitively again.
The 42-year-old, 14-time major victor carded a one-over-par 71 at Atlanta’s East Lake Golf Course to claim the 80th title of his glittering career. He shot one-over par for the day and 11-under for the win, beating the runner-up, Billy Horschel, by two strokes.
With the massive gallery chanting his name as they stampeded the final fairway in scenes reminiscent of British Opens of yesteryear, Woods moved within two victories of Sam Snead’s all-time record of 82 PGA Tour titles.
For a while it looked as though it could have been even better as Justin Rose’s nerve-addled finish meant the Englishman needed a birdie on the final hole of the Tour Championship in Atlanta to deny Woods the $10 million FedEx Cup bonus (about £7.64 million).
Woods also is a -220 favorite over Mickelson in their match play event in November in Las Vegas.
At one point this year, Woods was asked in a news conference if a win for him this year would complete one of the greatest comebacks in all of sports.
Woods delivered the ideal ending to his fantastic return from four back surgeries today with a performance that felt like the old days.
Woods won for the first time in more than five years. “It’s a highlight of the year for me”, McIlroy said.
“It was just a grind out there”, the former world No. 1 told NBC moments after his final putt.
All the doubt surrounding Woods has been silenced, as the image of him celebrating will be remembered for a long time.
Today (September 23), Woods overcame his struggles and won his first tournament since 2013. “Every PGA Tour player thanks you”. In three previous rounds with Woods this year, Rose shot the lower scorer but couldn’t keep up Saturday, finishing with a 68 after starting bogey-bogey.
The 42-year-old Woods delivered the ideal ending to his incredible return from four back surgeries on Sunday with a performance that felt like old times.
“The up and down at 17 was huge”, said Woods, who was flying to Paris later on Sunday with the U.S. team for this week’s Ryder Cup, live on Sky Sports.