Emotional Woods hails incredible comeback victory

Tiger Woods was clearly overcome by emotion after completing one of the greatest comebacks in sporting history at the Tour Championship on Sunday.

A final-round 71 was enough to see the American secure his 80th PGA Tour title. More importantly, it was his first win in five years, coming after a serious of personal and professional setbacks that seemed insurmountable not too long ago.

A successful spinal fusion surgery last April finally saw Woods regain his strength and overcome the back injury that had plagued him for so long, and he soon started producing results on the course after making his full return at the start of the year.

Two runner-up up finishes earlier this season suggested Woods was closing in on victory, but it didn’t make the moment at East Lake on Sunday seem any less incredible and unlikely.

“At the beginning of the year [winning] was a tall order, but as the year progressed and I proved that I could play and I found a swing and put pieces together I knew I could do it again,” Woods told Golf Channel.

“I was having a hard time not crying coming up the last hole. 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.

“After Rory tapped in I started tearing up a little bit. I just can’t believe I’ve pulled this off.”

Despite missing almost two whole years as he battled with his broken body, Woods was able to return to a level on the PGA Tour where he was consistently producing results, and a victory started to seem more and more likely.

Still, overcoming those five years of struggle didn’t come easy.

“It’s been tough. I’ve had it not so easy the last couple of years and worked my way back and couldn’t have done it without the help of everyone around me,” he said.

“Some of the players I saw after on the 18th green knew what I was struggling with and it was really special to see them there.

“It’s just hard to believe I’ve won the Tour Championship.”

Woods had little time to process the victory as a flight to Paris along with the rest of the US Ryder Cup team awaited.

“We’re flying tonight with the guys, it’s going to be fun. I think we’re all going to sleep well.”