Atlanta, Ga – “It all ends here” was the slogan for the 2018 TOUR Championship but in his signature Sunday red, Tiger Woods played as if to say “It’s only the beginning” with his win in Atlanta. Tiger has not won a PGA Tour event, much less qualified for the FedEx Cup playoffs in over 5 years so his 80th PGA Tour win could not have come at a better time.
On Saturday, as the 36-hole co-leader, Tiger drained a long birdie putt on the par-4 1st making a statement that he was not going anywhere. Woods then proceeded to birdie 5 of his next 6 holes to grab the solo lead. Tiger’s wedges were dialed-in as he seemed to put everything close all day long. After a 3rd round 65 and a 3-stroke lead, his good wedge-play carried over into Sunday as he came out firing with a birdie (again!) on one.
However, Tiger only managed to birdie two holes (1 & 13) during his final round, missing several greens in regulation and having to rely heavily on his putter most of the day. His lead was shortened to 2 shots as Billy Horschel put some pressure on the leader after posting a 4-under 66. Woods’ nerves started to show as the tee shot on the par-3 island green 15th was short and just barely caught a piece of land over the water. Although Tiger shot a 1-over round of 71 on Sunday, with less than half the field breaking par, he was able to hold off the field for a 2 shot victory.
In the trophy presentation of the Calamity Jane Putter, Tiger said that “it’s hard to believe that I’ve won the TOUR Championship.” It certainly has been a long road to recovery for the 42-year-old. Tiger came close to winning several events throughout the 2018 season but this win feels appropriate to break the drought. Tiger’s 80th career win now puts him one step closer to the all-time record of PGA Tour career wins of 82 held by Sam Snead.
Even with all eyes on Tiger on Sunday, Justin Rose was also victorious in his quest as he played well enough to secure the FedEx Cup trophy, worth $10 million. It didn’t come easy though, as Justin had to birdie his last hole (the par-5 18th) in order to get into a tie-4th and become the FedEx Cup points leader.
The PGA Tour season has concluded but next week all eyes will on Europe as the Ryder Cup begins in Paris. Both Tiger Woods and Justin Rose will be competing.
Tiger Woods WITB:
Driver: TaylorMade M3 460 9.5* (Mitsubishi Diamana D+ White Board 73TX)
3 Wood: TaylorMade M3 13* (Mitsubishi Diamana D+ White Board 83TX)
5 Wood: TaylorMade M1 19* (Mitsubishi Diamana D+ White Board 83TX)
Irons: TaylorMade TW prototype (3-PW) (True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100)
Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind Raw (56* and 60*) (True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400)
Putter: Scotty Cameron Newport 2 GSS
Ball: Bridgestone Tour B-XS