The American evoked memories of old with a near-faultless weekend as he finished two shots clear of compatriot Billy Horschel.
Incredibly, he almost won the FedEx Cup too, but had to settle for second in the season-long rankings after Justin Rose birdied the final hole to finish in a tie for fourth.
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Woods held a five-shot lead going into the final hour holes, but back-to-back bogeys – including a narrow miss with the water on 15 – threatened to unravel his bid for a first title since the WGC Bridgestone Invitational in August 2013.
However, he steadied on the 17th and swerved a bunker disaster on the 18th to complete an emotional triumph.
His 80th win on the US PGA Tour will rank among the sweetest after battling back from back surgery in April 2017 – he admitted he feared for his career during his lowest moments – and having a number of near-misses in 2018.
Timeline for Tiger Woods between 79th and 80th US PGA Tour victories
- Captures his 79th PGA Tour title at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational in August
- A week before the Masters in April, Woods announces that he requires back surgery, forcing him to miss the year’s opening major for the first time since 1994
- Returns to competition in June but struggles on with back pain
- Posts the worst score of his professional career in June, a 13-over-par 85 in the third round of the Memorial tournament in Ohio
- Woods has a second microdiscectomy performed in September with a follow-up procedure six weeks later, forcing him to shut down his playing schedule indefinitely
- In April, he plays his first stretch of holes in eight months at a golf course opening in Montgomery, Texas
- Misses all four major championships in a season for the first time in his career
- In September announces that he hopes to make his competitive return to golf at the US PGA Tour’s October 13-16 Safeway Open in Napa, California
- Three days before the start of the Safeway Open, pulls out, saying his game is not sharp enough to compete at the highest level
- Woods ends 17 months on the sidelines by playing the Farmers Insurance Open, where he misses the cut. The following week he pulls out of the European Tour's Dubai Desert Classic before the second round, citing back spasms
- Undergoes lumbar fusion surgery in April. The procedure involves fusing two vertebrae in his lower back into a single structure.
- Arrested after being found asleep at the wheel of his parked car in Florida in May. Toxicology report reveals he had five drugs in his system, but no alcohol
- Woods returns to competition in November at the unofficial World Challenge, finishing equal ninth in the 18-man field
- After being among the title contenders at several tournaments during the season, Woods ends his five-year barren run by clinching the Tour Championship, his 80th US PGA Tour victory, leaving him two shy of the all-time mark held by Sam Snead.
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