The ex-world No 1 was at disadvantage playing with his fellow American Zach Johnson but birdied the last two holes β having pulled out a two at the short 17th and having added a three at the last to close out victory to end his long barren streak.
Woods said, “It feels great. It was a lot of fun coming down the stretch. Zach put a lot of pressure on me. He turned the tide [with birdie on 16], next thing I am one down, playing the last couple of holes. Then I made two good putts.”
“It feels awesome, whatever that is,” he added. This victory became his 83rd success in tournaments that award ranking points and the first one since he won the Australian Masters in 2009.
He had a terrible accident, crashing his car into a fire hydrant outside his Florida home on Thanksgiving night. That caused some shocking revelations of extramarital affairs.
Moreover, it destroyed his image, led to a divorce and he lost four major sponsors. Since then, he has changed swing coaches, caddies and endured more injuries and had to miss two majors and failed to make the cut in another.
“If the man is healthy, that’s paramount,” Zach Johnson said. “I mean, he’s the most experienced and the best player I’ve ever played with. In every situation, he knows how to execute and win.”
The win put an end to a stagnation that lasted 749 days, and might have signaled a change that Woods is to return back.
“I felt normal, felt very comfortable,” Woods said. “I’ve been here so many times that, you know, I just feel very comfortable being here in this position. Was I nervous? Absolutely. Always nervous in that position. But it’s a comfortable feeling, and I enjoy being in that position. For some reason, it’s kind of a comfort to be in there with a chance to win.”
The win moved him from No. 52 to No. 21 in the world ranking. However, Woods is not to play again until starting his year in Abu Dhabi at the end of January.
“They all feel good,” he said. “They’re not easy. People don’t realize how hard it is to win golf tournaments. I’ve gone on streaks where I’ve won golf tournaments in a row, but still … I don’t think I’ve taken it for granted. And I know because of how hard it is.”
Some critics predict his success in 2012. “If he steadily progresses, keeps getting confidence and moving forward, he’s going to return and be one of the best players in the game again,” said Jim Furyk, who won in 2009 and then had his first three-win season the next year and captured the FedEx Cup.
35-year-old winner agreed: βYeah, I feel pretty good going into next year. I think if I have a good year I should be on the ballot for comeback player of the year, so I’m excited about that. So hopefully next year I can get on that ballot.β
Tiger Woods said his father (Earl died in 2006) would have been proud of the way he won: ”He would be proud of the way I hung in and was grinding, the way I was staying focused on what I was doing.β [Via Huff PostΒ and The Daily Mail]