More than five years after his last win, after four surgeries on his lower back that left him wonder if he could ever play again, Woods ended his comeback season with a dominant victory at the Tour Championship.
Woods' victory at the TOUR Championship capped a season of comeback victories that included Phil Mickelson at the World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship and extended all the way down to Paul Casey, Gary Woodland, Kevin Na and Keegan Bradley. Webb Simpson, Johnson Wagner and Louis Oosthuizen were the only three to have a better average.
While there are some who lament the way that Woods has taken the lead on a Saturday and turned Sunday into a formality over the course of his career, this win was different because of everything that has lead up to it over the last five years.
Had Rose not birdied the last, Woods would have won his third FedEx title.
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In March, Woods played a meaningful Sunday round when he finished tied for second at the Valspar Championship. It was his 80th win on the PGA Tour, and his first since 2013. "Obviously had a couple of wins on the PGA TOUR, as well, this year, and managed to keep that going into the Playoffs with finishing the year with three top 5s". I looked back, and then I saw all the crowd just swamping down the fairway, too, and the atmosphere around the 18th green. It was really special to see them at the green on 18.
Woods admitted he had almost been overcome with emotion as he walked up the 18th fairway.
A bogey on the 10th was a mere blip, with Woods re-establishing a five-shot cushion at 13 under after rolling in a 13-foot birdie putt on the par-four 13th.
Rose entered the week ranked No. 2 on the FedEx Cup point list, which meant if he could win at East Lake, he automatically would win the FedEx Cup as well. Not bad for a 42-year-old with four back surgeries who returned to competition in December at No. 1,199. Tweeting that Woods' performance as he neared his first victory was "very exciting".
Woods' displays so far in 2018 suggested he was finally over the injury problems that had plagued him in recent years.