Five years and four back surgeries later, the most transcendent golfer in history was on the brink of completing his comeback and securing his 80th PGA Tour title.
Woods, now 42 years old, will be hoping that this long awaited victory will mark his return as a serious competitor in the major tournaments. "It's been tough. I've had a not-so-easy last two years. I think the world of golf is really proud of you, and is super excited about your game and the way the game of golf is going". Woods explained to reporters that from there, he just wanted to play like "every weekend hacker" - not mess up.
"It was a grind out there", Woods said. Woods, who started the final day with a three-shot lead, captivated euphoric fans with a blast from the past to seal a long-awaited win after undergoing four back surgeries since 2014. "It was neat to be part of the team, to be a part of helping the guys in any way I possibly could to make them feel comfortable, to get them into the right circumstances to allow them to play their best golf". Not only did we see Woods walk up the 18th fairway swarmed by thousands of people, but we also saw someone whose personal win was a win for golf overall.
Woods has been with the sportswear giant since turning pro in 1996, but Nike most recently signed golf's brightest star to a $200 million endorsement deal in 2013.
"I've been sitting on 79 (wins) for five years now".
There was no word on Monday whether Tiger Woods flew the US Ryder Cup team charter from Atlanta to Paris overnight, but he was so high off of his euphoric Tour Championship victory Sunday, he probably could have flown the plane over the Atlantic without its engines fired.
Woods shot one over at the 2018 Masters, finishing tied for 32nd.
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Woods is playing in his eighth career Ryder Cup, but first since 2012 as a result of his back injuries.
"Well, when I came out here, there was no internet", Woods said jokingly to ESPN. His embrace of the team event and the strategy that goes with it has been stunning to watch unfold but I think beneficial to the US side.
Woods, for all of his individual brilliance, steps into a completely different arena this week. No one wanted to miss a shot.
Then again, it was not an unexpected reaction given what Woods has meant to the game of golf - to the entire sporting world, really.
In the final event of a comeback season defined by teasing near-wins and the rising, anticipatory buzz that accompanied each of his promising rounds, Woods ground out a two-stroke win with a one-over on Sunday, in the process providing the most emphatic, affirmative answer yet to the yearslong question of whether he was back.