Tiger Woods Wins First Golf Tournament Since 4 Back Surgeries
- Author: Fernando Stephens Sep 24, 2018,
Sep 24, 2018, 16:59
Jack Nicklaus reacted to Tiger Woods's first victory in five years by declaring it is realistic for the 42-year-old to win at least four more majors and so equal the Golden Bear's record haul of 18 majors. The golf great won the Tour Championship in Atlanta Sunday for his 80th PGA Tour victory.
Woods, who finished with an 11-under-par aggregate 269, raised his arms in delight after the victory, with several thousand fans ringing the green roaring their appreciation.
Mickelson, who will face Woods in a lucrative head-to-head shoot-out in Las Vegas in November, said he had never doubted that the 14-time major victor would add to his collection of PGA Tour titles.
Tiger Woods said he held back the tears as he reached the 18th green before winning his first tournament in five years.
Woods walked into the grounds of the East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta sporting a Nike tank top, letting his biceps shine in the Georgia sun.
Others said they had never witnessed a scene like it in all their years watching golf.
"There was a point in time I didn't know if I'd ever do this again", Woods said.
"I was beyond playing".
"It was just a grind out there".
A gap of 1,876 days since his last win.
Without that birdie, Woods would have won his third FedEx Cup title after starting at No. 20 going into the Tour Championship.
"I just can't believe I pulled this off", added a visibly emotional Woods during the presentation ceremony. "I've been sitting on 79 for about five years now", he said, "and to get 80 is a pretty damned good feeling".
Woods, widely regarded as one of the greatest golfers in the world, has been an influential figure for the sport with his star appeal and multi-million dollar endorsements. It was really special to see them at the green on 18. However, it was a struggle from the start for the - now former - world No. 1.
"It's certainly up there with obviously all the major championships I've won, Players, World Golf Championships".
Woods' last tournament victory came at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational back in 2013, before a run of both poor form and injury bought his dominance to a crashing halt. Bryson DeChambeau, the leader coming into the Tour Championship, is tied for 21st.
Woods, who returned in January after missing nearly the entire previous two years with a debilitating back injury, held a three-shot advantage heading into the final round.
Horschel shot four-under 66 to finish alone in second place, while Hideki Matsuyama and Rickie Fowler each shot the low rounds of Sunday's play with 65.
Woods now goes to France, where he'll play in the Ryder Cup with the rest of his usa teammates.