Tiger Woods scored his first victory in more than five years on Sunday, completing a two-shot win at the Tour Championship to crown a fairy tale comeback after a near two-year absence.
The 42-year-old, 14-time major winner carded a one-over-par 71 at Atlanta’s East Lake Golf Course to claim the 80th PGA Tour title of his glittering career.
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.
Woods admitted he had nearly been overcome with emotion as he walked up the 18th fairway.
“I was having a hard time not crying coming up the last hole,” Woods said, who’s most recent win before Sunday had come 1,876 days ago at the 2013 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
“I kept saying ‘Hey, I could still play this out of bounds.’ But once I got the ball on the green I gave (caddie) Joey (LaCava) a high five because I knew it was done.”
It was an emotional finale to a year which saw Woods return to the highest level after he had once feared he may never play golf again.
“It was just a grind out there,” Woods said of his final round. “I loved every bit of it. The fight, the grind, the tough conditions.
“To win it’s certainly up there with obviously all the major championships I’ve won, Players, World Golf Championships but then this is under different circumstances.
“I just didn’t know whether this would ever happen again. If I could somehow piece together a golf swing this year, I felt like I could do it, somehow I’ve been able to do that, and here we are.”
Woods later revealed he had also fought back tears on the final green as he prepared for the par putt to complete the win.
“I realised all of sudden I was going to win the tournament,” he said.