Tiger Woods ends five-year title drought with Tour Championship triumph

Two jaw-dropping stats show why Tiger Woods is a lock to win Sunday

Two jaw-dropping stats show why Tiger Woods is a lock to win Sunday

With a two-shot win at the Tour Championship in Atlanta, legendary United States golfer Tiger Woods clinched the comeback he longed for, after a near two-year absence in the sport and a championship drought of more than five years.

Resplendent in Sunday red yet not necessarily at his peak, Woods ground out his first win since August, 2013 before an enormous crowd at East Lakes, fighting back tears as he made his way up the 18 hole with a two-shot lead.

The victory capped off a season that started with questions over whether Woods, now 10 years removed from his 14th major title, would even be able to play a full schedule after undergoing his fourth back surgery in April 2017.

Justin Rose with the FedEx Championship trophy and Tiger Woods with the Calamity Jane trophy for winning the season ending Tour Championship tournament in Atlanta.

Heading into Tour Championship before the weekend, Woods had a world ranking of 21.

"I knew I didn't want a 3-footer around that cup, that's for sure", Rose said.

It is fascinating that Woods has evolved into the people's golfer, a domain he couldn't possible inhabit after tales of his extra-marital affairs emerged. He made a comeback with a birdie at No. 13 and had consecutive bogeys during the 15th and 16th holes. So, I was beyond playing.

Woods said he heard it but didn't see it as he didn't turn around.

Woods is celebrating his 80th career PGA win - two short of the career record held by Sam Snead. Off the course, he had to overcome the embarrassment of a DUI arrest early on Memorial Day 2017 when he was found asleep at the wheel of his vehicle, later found to have a concoction of pain medication in his system. He had been close to winning before Sunday. In March he tied for second at the Valspar Championship at Innisbrook in Palm Harbor, and he was solo second at the PGA Championship last month. "I loved every bit of it, the fight and the grind and the tough conditions".

"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".

"I was kind of waiting for a break all day, waiting for a putt to drop or something good to happen, and it just wasn't really happening through the back nine", Rose said. And golf cart rides on manicured championship courses are not rollercoasters. Jason Day was the best of them in 18 place, Cameron Smith was 20 and Marc Leishman 21. Down at one stage to 1,199th in the world.

The victory lifts Woods tally to 80 PGA Tour titles and just three wins shy of becoming the most successful player in the history of the PGA Tour.

Woods holed out for par to complete a final round of 71 for an 11-under total before holding his arms aloft in celebration of a brilliant win just days before the Ryder Cup gets under way in Paris.

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