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‘I had a hard time not crying’: Tiger Woods wins first Tour victory in five years

Tiger Woods has won his first title in five years, with a two shot victory at the Tour Championship in Atlanta on Sunday (local time), capping off a remarkable career comeback.

Woods had undergone four back surgeries, including a spinal fusion in April 2017, and there were serious doubts the 42-year-old would be able to withstand the rigours of another full season on the tour.

However Woods has surpassed expectations, coming close at both The Open in July and the PGA Championship in August, before putting together a complete tournament to win his 80th title.

A man wearing a red shirt motions with his right hand while bent over, holding a golf club in his left

"It was just a grind out there." Woods said on the course immediately following his final putt.

"I loved every bit of it, the fight and the grind, the tough conditions."

The crowd at East Lake were in a raucous mood, and Woods admitted to feeling emotional walking up the 18th hole, with the massed throng of spectators following him up the fairway in spectacular scenes that highlighted just what the moment meant to golf fans, and how important it was for the health of the sport.

External Link: PGA Tour Tweet: Wow.

"I had a hard time not crying coming up that last hole." Woods said.

At the trophy presentation, that emotion almost bubbled over.

"I just can't believe I've pulled this off," Woods said before pausing to compose himself.

"It's been tough, you know, I've had it not so easy the last couple of years and I've worked my way back.

"I couldn't have done it without the people around me.

"Some of the players I saw after … some knew what I was struggling with. It was really special to see them there.

"It's just hard to believe that I've won the Tour Championship"

Woods had built a five-shot lead halfway through the final round at the Tour Championship in Atlanta on Sunday, moving closer to ending his five-year victory drought.

After starting the day with a three-shot advantage over Justin Rose and Rory McIlroy, Woods produced a steady front nine, recording one birdie and eight pars at East Lake Golf Course in Atlanta.

He made the turn at 13 under par, while Englishman Rose was eight under after a three-putt bogey at the ninth hole.

World number one Rose fell further back after recording three more bogies on the back nine to finish in a tie for fourth as American Billy Horschel closed to within two strokes thanks to a 66-shot, four under par final round.

Woods also recorded three bogeys after the turn, but despite hitting the bunker with his second shot on the eighteenth, managed to tap home a simple putt for par, and the Championship to the delight of the crowd.

The victory was Woods' 80th on the PGA Tour, two short of the all-time record held by Sam Snead.

Englishman Rose, on the other hand, won the FedEx Cup and a $US10 million ($13.7 million) payday — confirming his victory with a birdy on the final hole — with Woods finishing in second spot.

External Link: JustinRose tweet: What a day, what a year FedExCupChampion

ABC/Reuters

Original Article

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