Tiger Woods held off the challenge of home favourite Hideki Matsuyama to win a record-equalling 82nd PGA Tour title on Sunday.
Weather had disrupted the tournament – the first scheduled PGA Tour event to be held in Japan – but consistency proved the key for Woods at Narashino Country Club.
The American’s three-shot victory over Japan’s Matsuyama was all the sweeter for the 15-time major winner, as he moved level with Sam Snead in the all-time PGA rankings.
Woods had a three-shot lead to defend over the final seven holes as the tournament was completed on Monday morning following Friday’s washout.
The 43-year-old bogeyed the 12th before recovering with a birdie on the 14th, but a missed birdie putt on the 15th gave Matsuyama an opening.
Matsuyama birdied the 16th to move within two shots but a missed birdie on the 17th. That gave Woods some breathing space and he responded with a birdie four on the last and claim the title.
Woods said: “This is big. Hideki made it tight. It was a lot closer than people maybe thought.
“It is just crazy. It is a lot.
“I have been able to be consistent most of my career and have put myself up there with a chance to win on a number of occasions. There was plenty of times I didn’t but today was one of those days where I was able to pull it out.
“It was definitely stressful.”
The 44-year-old’s last appearance on the PGA Tour was in mid-February.
The biennial match between the United States and Europe will now take place in September 2021 at Whistling Straits.
Organisers hope to stage the event in September 2021.
The five-time European Tour winner has yet to register a victory in the United States.
The event at Royal Troon from August 20-23 will now be the first women’s major of the year following the cancellation of the Evian Championship.
Bryson DeChambeau hopes his victory at the Rocket Mortgage Classic on Sunday has answered his critics.
Overnight leader Matthew Wolff was not able to recover from a poor start.
Americans Ryan Armour and Bryson DeChambeau sit in second place.
The Englishman carded a 66 to put behind him the disappointment of playing alone and missing the cut last week.