Tiger Woods breaks five-year title drought

Judy Cobb
September 24, 2018

The victory capped off a season that started with questions over whether Woods, now 10 years removed from his 14th major title, would even be able to play a full schedule after undergoing his fourth back surgery in April 2017.

Woods won the Tour Championship at East Lake here in Atlanta on Sunday with an already famous wire-to-wire success and the tributes soon began flooding in.

His season-ending Tour Championship victory sent social media into frenzy, much like it had the raucous crowd around the 18th green.

"I didn't want to get run over", Woods said with a laugh.

Tiger Woods said he held back the tears as he reached the 18th green before winning his first tournament in five years.

Tiger Woods has had a rough few years. "That's what this represents for me is the consistency that I've had this year, the amount of top 10s that I've had, the ability - the fact that I was able to at least keep that form going through the playoffs, obviously finishing with three top-5s".

The other big victor was world No 1 Justin Rose, who needed to birdie the par five 18th hole to win the $10 million bonus for the FedEx Cup - and gutsily managed it.

"It means a lot more to me now in the sense I didn't know if I'd ever be out here again playing, doing this again", he said.

"It was a grind out there, " Woods said.

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But within four months of telling fans he could not hit a ball 60 yards, he rejoined the PGA tour, and soon after that, earned his spot on the Ryder Cup team.

"I just can't believe I pulled this off", added a visibly emotional Woods during the presentation ceremony.

But Sunday was about Woods, who played alongside Rory McIlroy and put together a solid round of golf, save a couple bogeys late in his round. That might be enough to return him to No. 1 in the world.

After numerous close calls, Tiger Woods won his first tournament since 2013 at the TOUR Championship. It was really special to see them at the green on 18.

"When you have such a long time between victories, getting that first one is the most important", Robert Littal, editor at website Blacksportsonline, told Al Jazeera.

In the moments after the win, the former number went straight to his girlfriend who showered him in affection. The victor of the 2019 Tour Championship will automatically win the FedEx Cup. Tiger finished 11-under for his first PGA Tour win since 2013.

Horschel shot 4-under Sunday to get into contention, but Woods never fell out of the lead.

He still describes himself accurately as "42 years old with a fused lower spine".

Woods will now turn his attention to the Ryder Cup, which takes place next week in France.

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