Tiger Woods Wins – Tiger Woods played in 26 tournaments in two years without a win. Much of it has to do with the turmoil in his personal life and with his golf game. However, he stood over a 6-foot birdie putt Sunday to win the Chevron World Challenge and felt as though nothing had changed.
Tiger poured in the putt to cap off a birdie-birdie finish at Sherwood, close with a 3-under 69 and beat former Masters champion Zach Johnson by one shot. The win ended a drought that lasted 749 days, and might have signaled a change that Woods is on his way back.
He swept his arm across the air, yelled through the din of the gallery and slammed his fist in a celebration that was a long time coming.
Trailing by one shot with two holes to play, Woods came up with two clutch putts. He holed a 15-footer for birdie on the par-3 17th to pull into a tie with Johnson, then hit a 9-iron from 158 yards that landed on the ridge behind the hole and rolled down to 6 feet.
“I’ve been in contention twice this year, which is not very often,” Woods said. “So that’s my third time with a chance to win it. I pulled it off this time.”
It was his 83rd win worldwide in tournaments that award ranking points, but his first since he won the Australian Masters on Nov. 15, 2009, back when he looked as though he would rule golf for as long as he played.
“If the man is healthy, that’s paramount,” Johnson said. “I mean, he’s the most experienced and the best player I’ve ever played with. In every situation, he knows how to execute and win.”
The win moved him from No. 52 to No. 21 in the world ranking, and likely will send expectations soaring for 2012. Tiger Woods will not play again until starting his year in Abu Dhabi at the end of January.
“I don’t think we’re going to see another 2011, if that makes sense,” Furyk said, alluding to Woods failing to reach the FedEx Cup playoffs this year. “If he steadily progresses, keeps getting confidence and moving forward, he’s going to return and be one of the best players in the game again.”