The comeback is complete: Tiger Woods is a winner once again.
Woods picked up his 80th career PGA Tour victory but first since 2013 on Sunday, shooting a one-over 71 to finish at 11 under and win the Tour Championship by two shots over Billy Horschel.
With the victory, Woods will finish second in the FedEx Cup standings behind world No. 1 Justin Rose, who birdied 18 to finish in a tie for fourth and win the $10 million Cup grand prize. Woods will receive $3 million for second place in the season-long points race.
The win puts an exclamation point on what has been a remarkable comeback from Woods, who had spinal fusion surgery last April and was arrested for DUI with five drugs in his system one month later. Roughly this time last year, Woods said at the Presidents Cup that he wasn’t sure if he’d ever compete on Tour again. Now he has picked up a win in the final event of the season and will move into the top 15 in the world rankings on Monday.
“I had a hard time not crying on the last hole,” Woods said after the round.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) September 23, 2018
“I just can’t believe I pulled this off,” he said while fighting back tears at the trophy ceremony. “It’s been tough. Not so easy the last couple years. I’ve worked my way back, and I couldn’t have done it without the help of everyone around me.”
Woods started the day with a three-shot lead over Rose and Rory McIlroy, the latter of whom fell out of contention while playing alongside Woods on Sunday. He birdied the first hole and pushed his lead to five on the front nine by finding fairways and greens and shooting a one-under 34 on the front nine.
After a birdie on 13, Woods had a five-shot lead with just five to play, but he would bogey 15 and 16, and his advantage shrunk to two. Woods got up-and-down for par on 17 to preserve the two-shot lead coming to the par-5 18th, and the win was virtually clinched when he smashed a drive right down the center at the finishing hole.
As he walked up the green after knocking his second into a greenside bunker, scores of fans followed right behind him in an iconic spectacle.
Woods then blasted out to six feet and two-putted to seal his first win in 1,876 days. He paused for a moment after sinking the final putt before raising his arms in triumph.
Below is a hole-by-hole recap of the round, including highlights and analysis.