For the first time in over five years Tiger Woods sat atop the leaderboard at the end of a PGA tournament, claiming his 80th career tour win.
Woods claimed the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Georgia by two strokes over Billy Horschel and capped off one of his most incredible seasons in over a decade. He entered Sunday four strokes ahead of Rory McIlroy and finished the day one stroke above par (-11).
The Tour Championship was the final tournament in the FedEx Cup playoffs and Tiger had an outside shot at winning the whole thing, but he needed a lot of help. Entering Sunday, Woods needed to take first place, Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas to finish outside of the top-2, Keegan Bradley to finish outside of top-2, Tony Finau to finish outside of third place and Justin Rose to finish outside of the top-5.
It came down to the 18th hole where Rose played the par 5 perfectly and got a membership bounce on his approach shot. On the green in two, the Englishman just needed to two putt from roughly 25 feet to secure his first ever FedEx Cup victory as the Tour Champion and he did just that. His birdie finish capped off a wild Sunday where he shot a 3-over, 73 and snuck out the overall calendar victory.
Although Tiger didn’t win the FedEx cup, it is safe to say that the 42-year-old is finally back and so was his famous Sunday Red. The five-year drought ended on the final hole of the season in dramatic fashion that saw the entire gallery following him up to the putting surface on 18. It looked as if it were a movie. Rory and Tiger talking and laughing, and the class act by the Northern Ireland product to jog up ahead and give El Tigre his moment was something nobody could have scripted.
What sent shock waves across the entire state of Georgia and towards both coasts was Tiger’s tap in par to secure the victory. Both hands went up in celebration as the long wait was finally over. You could see the emotion all over Woods’ face and as a fan it was one of the coolest moments in golf since he won the US Open in a playoff on a torn ACL. Who would have thought, someone of his age with over ten surgeries would come back and compete, let alone win a tournament. What a finish down in Atlanta.
Tiger finished second overall in the FedEx Cup playoffs, but 2018 is only just the beginning. The Ryder Cup next weekend in Paris will have everybody looking to knock off Team USA as Woods will look to prove himself one final time this fall before seeking his first major win in 11 years next April.
Tiger is back and golf is as exciting as it has ever been. The 2019 Masters cannot come soon enough.