Woods said "the fevered pitch" of the fan stampede behind him on the 18th fairway was something he had never experienced before and would never forget.
"I had a hard time not crying on the last hole", he said. Once I got the ball on the green then I gave Joey (LaCava, his caddie) a high-five.
Tossing aside five years of career-threatening injury woes, Woods reasserted his status as the best frontrunner in the history of the sport, leading throughout the final round and finishing at 11-under-par 269 at East Lake.
Asked about the fondness for him and whether it means more now than it did previously, Woods said: "It means a lot more to me now in the sense because I didn't know if I'd ever be out here again playing, doing this again". "I loved every bit of it". The fight, the grind, the tough conditions.
But this weekend he looked like the golfer who was ranked No. 1 in the world for a record 683 weeks, has won 14 major titles (second only to Jack Nicklaus with 18) and who has won the FedEx Cup twice.
"As this year progressed, I proved I could play, I found a swing, put the pieces together and knew I could do it again".
"All of a sudden it started hitting me that I was going to win the tournament, and I started tearing up a little bit".
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"I am sure there would be room somewhere in the house if I happened to go on and win this event", he said. His return is not unlikely as Jack Nicklaus' when he won the 1986 Masters aged 46, 24 years after his first major and six years since his last, let alone that of Ben Hogan, who won six of his nine majors after the auto crash in 1949 that doctors feared might mean he never walked again. I've worked my way back.
"I clicked into a decent gear and got the job done". Forget about golf. He never knew what was on the other side of his rehab. He walked away as the victor of the 2018 Tour Championship.
2016 - In September announces that he hopes to make his competitive return to golf at the PGA Tour's October 13-16 Safeway Open in Napa, California. He had been close to winning before Sunday. In March he tied for second at the Valspar Championship at Innisbrook in Palm Harbor, and he was solo second at the PGA Championship last month.
Woods started Sunday with a three-shot lead, but struggled during the back nine and dropped to No. 10.
Woods recovered from the spinal damage that caused long absences for him from the world of competitive golf; he was missing from the game nearly all of 2016 and 2017.
Woods did most of the work for this one Thursday through Saturday, when he made over 300 feet of putts and posted scores of 65-68-65.
Behind Woods, McIlroy is lurking menacingly after carding a four-under-par 66. He slowed down on the back nine, making just a single birdie, doing well after leaving a chip shot short at the 16th to make a bogey and failing to birdie the 18th.