Philippines, 29 May 2024
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The Tiger is back

There are some things that just should not happen like seeing Tiger Woods putting the last hole in the way to winning his first tournament in five years and ending a long title drought.

Woods admitted he was struggling to control his emotions late en route to snatching the Tour Championship on Sunday.

The 14-time major winner sank his putt anyway and sealed a two-stroke victory at East Lake on, claiming a first PGA Tour success since the 2013 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

His feat, which he normally did many times before suffering a slump was made before a vast gallery which followed him, who fought back tears on the 18th hole ? where his second shot found the bunker.

"I was having a hard time not crying on the last hole," he told Golf Channel in an interview. "I said, 'Hey, I could still play this thing out of bounds' so suck it up and hit some shots here.

"Once I got the ball on the green, I gave Joey (LaCava, his caddie) a high five cos' it was done, I could handle that from there."

The 42-year-old golfing great is still emotional during the trophy ceremony of his 80th win on the PGA Tour following multiple back surgeries and assortment of personal problems the past decade.

"At the end of the year, it was certainly a tall order," he said. "But as the year progressed and I proved that I could play and I found my swing and I put the pieces together, I knew I could do it again."

Few athletes in history have dominated a sport like Tiger, but the latest victory of his illustrious career should not be considered anything other than extraordinary.

In four thrilling days in Atlanta, Woods looked like the Tiger of old, the peerless competitor who ruthlessly accumulated 14 major titles between 1997 and 2008, transcending his sport as he became one of the most recognizable and admired sports figures on the planet.

Yet for all that past success, his victory at East Lake was truly remarkable, given the misery Woods has endured in recent years.

And to think that golf's biggest star had openly admitted just 12 months earlier that he was unsure whether he would ever play competitively again.

A succession of back surgeries had failed to restore Woods to full fitness and previous comebacks had followed a painful theme, with the long time world No. 1 looking a shadow of his former self before another enforced hiatus.

In May 2017, Woods seemed to have reached his lowest ebb. He was arrested in Florida on suspicion of driving under the influence ? his lethargic condition caused by prescription medication as he struggled to deal with intense pain ? and a deeply unflattering mugshot made headlines around the world.

Click here to view a list of other articles written by Eddie Alinea.

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