Published: Mon, September 24, 2018
IT | By Darin Griffith

Young golf fan celebrates wildly after meeting Tiger Woods

Young golf fan celebrates wildly after meeting Tiger Woods

It was the culmination of a truly momentous win for the Californian (42), less than 18 months after undergoing last-ditch spinal fusion surgery to treat a chronic back problem that left him fearing he would ever play again.

Then, as McIlroy finished up, and before Woods would tap in for par, tap the putter to the ground and raise his arms, he would ward off emotion as he claimed to realize at last one towering "at last".

"I was having a hard time not crying on that last hole", Woods said. "Just considering where I've been, what I've had to dig through and fight through, the amount of help I had to have to get to this point".

A one-over 71 on the final day of the Tour Championship gave Woods a two-shot victory over nearest challenger Billy Horschel.

Woods spent 10 months on the sidelines past year while recovering from spinal fusion surgery and only started to make full golf swings in mid-October.

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"The double trophy would have meant a lot", Rose said, "but at the end of the day, like I said, Plan B was a pretty important one".

"I found a swing, put the pieces together and knew I could do it again".

Justin Rose, despite a final-round 73 that dropped him out of contention for the Tour Championship, birdied the last hole to capture the FedEx Cup and a $10 million bonus.

"Some of the players I saw on the 18th green afterwards and knew what I was struggling with, it was really special to see them there".

Just as incredibly, Woods very almost won the FedExCup too, but Britain's Justin Rose birdied the 18th to secure top spot and the $10million (£7.6m) prize.

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Woods still had an outside shot at the FedEx Cup if he were to win, though he would need Rose to post a big number on the back nine. I just can't believe I pulled this off after I've gone through.

He had flirted with victory several times this year, mounting thrilling late charges that enraptured galleries but ultimately fizzled.

Woods, widely regarded as one of the greatest golfers in the world, has been an influential figure for the sport with his star appeal and multi-million dollar endorsements.

"It's certainly up there with obviously all the major championships I've won, Players, World Golf Championships".

The former world No 1 becomes the first three-time champion of the Tour Championship.

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From tee to green there has been both accuracy and the same power as in his previous life; on the PGA Tour all season he ranks seventh in shots gained tee to green and first on shots gained approach-the-green. The victor of the 2019 Tour Championship will automatically win the FedEx Cup. It was Johnson who unveiled red shirts at the Ryder Cup two years ago in the team room that said "Make Tiger Great Again".

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