Tiger Woods holds back tears before claiming Tour Championship

Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy

Woods raised both arms over his head after he tapped in for par and a 1-over 71 for a two-shot victory over Billy Horschel, the 80th victory of his PGA Tour career and his first in more than five years.

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

At one point this year, Woods was asked in a news conference if a win for him this year would complete one of the greatest comebacks in all of sports. "It's a pretty damned good feeling".

"My body was a wreck", recalled Woods, who hoped the operation would alleviate debilitating back and leg pain.

After two back surgeries six weeks apart, he couldn't lie down, sit or walk without pain.

He came into the final day of the tournament - the last of four FedEx Cup play-off events - with a three-shot lead over Rose and Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy, who faded from contention with a 74 to finish on five under in a tie for seventh.

McIlroy, playing with Woods, quickly dropped out of contention with an error-strewn driving performance that ultimately ended with a 74, leaving world number one Rose as the only realistic threat.

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He drained a 10-foot birdie for a confidence-boosting start at the first, and then parred the next eight holes, using a deft short game and a hot putter to extricate himself from trouble on a couple of occasions. After the emotional win, Woods claimed that this victory was different from his long list of other wins.

ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 23: Tiger Woods of the United States poses with the trophy after winning the TOUR Championship at East Lake Golf Club on September 23, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Woods came into the Tour Championship with career earnings of $113,884,853 on the PGA Tour, a figure that will now rise even further.

Even President Trump noticed that Woods was playing well.

2017 - Woods returns to competition in November at the unofficial World Challenge, finishing equal ninth in the 18-man field. Via Golfweek, Woods stated, "It's certainly up there with obviously all the major championships I've won, Players, World Golf Championships. The up and down at 17 was huge", added Woods, who was flying to Paris later Sunday with the USA team for week's Ryder Cup.

He did have time, however, to remember his father and earliest mentor Earl, who died in 2006. "The fight and the grind and the tough conditions and just had to suck it up and hit shots, and I loved every bit of it".

"I knew what the scenarios were".

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