Chasing a first win since 2013 and the 80th PGA Tour title of his career, Woods took a three-shot lead over Justin Rose and
Thousands of Woods fans spilled onto the 18th fairway to follow their idol to the green. In an interview after the celebrations, Woods admitted his delight that his children, daughter Sam (11) and son Charlie (9), saw him become a champion.
Tiger Woods has admitted his delight that his children managed to see him win a tournament
Woods’ girlfriend Erica Herman, with Tiger’s daughter Sam and son Charlie back in December
‘I think they understand a little bit of what dad does now,’ Woods said.
‘I hadn’t won any tournaments which they can remember, so I think this will be a little bit different for them.
‘To be able to have shared what I did with them at The Open this year, I had a chance, I had the lead. They felt it, that atmosphere.
‘They know what their dad can do on a golf course now. It’s not what I used to be able to do. A lot of times they equated golf to pain because every time I did it, I would hurt, and it would cause me more pain.
‘And so now they’re seeing a little bit of joy and seeing how much fun it is for me to be able to do this again.’
Woods holds his daugher, Sam, and stands next to his ex-wife Elin Nordegren back in 2009
Woods with ex-Lindsey Vonn, Charlie and Sam during the par-3 contest at the 2015 Masters
Woods hugs son Charlie and daughter Sam at the Hero World Challenge event last year
Woods completed one of the greatest comebacks in sport by winning the Tour Championship
WOODS’ REMARKABLE CAREER IN NUMBERS
80 – the victory is Woods’ 80th on the PGA Tour.
1,876 – days since his previous win, at the 2013 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
4 – number of back operations since March 2014.
1,199 – Woods’ ranking in the world in November 2017. Victory at East Lake means he will be 13th in Monday’s updated standings.
14 – career major wins, second only to Jack Nicklaus’ 18.
683 – weeks he has spent at world number one during his career, a record.
281 – consecutive weeks spent as the world’s best golfer, which is also a record.
1997 – the year of his first major triumph, at the Masters.
Woods ushered in the week of the Ryder Cup with his first victory in five years at East Lake Golf Club
The 42-year-old was warmly embraced by his playing partner Rory McIlroy after winning for the first time in 1,877 days. Woods held his arms aloft to spark rapturous scenes among a record crowd.
‘I just loved it out there, the fight and the grind but I was trying hard not to cry at one point,’ he said. ‘At the beginning of the year this was a tall order but I proved I could progress and put it together.’
Since contending for The Open in July, Woods has got better with virtually every tournament. His stroke average for his last five events has been a shade over 67. It’s 120 miles from here to Augusta National and now he’s a winner again, he’s going to be short odds to return to the majors trail at the Masters next April.
First, though, it’s the Ryder Cup. ‘Now this is going to be one long flight overseas that I am going to enjoy,’ said Woods, before making his way to the airport.
The other big winner 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.