“Mr Woods welcome to the President’s Cup at Royal Melbourne in Australia as playing captain.”
After his performance at the ZOZO Championships selfishly I hope Tiger Woods decides to play. The win today ties him with Sam Snead at 82 for the most wins on the PGA Tour. Just let that sink in a bit. Woods has won 82 PGA Tour titles throughout his career. With all the personal battles and injuries, many thought his was unreachable but the way he played this week the question is now how many more can he win?
So how did it all start?
In August this year, Woods went through arthroscopic knee surgery and many worried that he might miss the back half of the year. With many tournaments overseas people wouldn’t be surprised if Woods decided to take the rest of the year off to rest and focus on next year after his heroic win at The Masters this year.
But in true Woods fashion he tee’d it up last week for a skins tournament against Rory McIroy, Jason Day and local hero Hideki Matsuyama in Japan. This week was the ZOZO Championships and the ever first PGA Tour event in Japan.
Woods started the tournament with three bogeys on the first three holes and looked a little rusty. It is one thing to play skins but another to be tournament ready. He then went on to birdie nine of the next 15 holes to shoot a 64 and was tied in the lead with Gary Woodland after the first round. After Friday’s play was washed away by torrential rains, it meant that extra holes were needed to be played to make up for the lost 18. On Saturday, Woods shot a second consecutive 64 to take the halfway lead.
On Sunday which should have been the finish to the tournament Woods shot a 66 in the third round in the morning to take a three-shot lead over the field. He has never lost a tournament when leading by three or more shots after 54 holes but because of the rain delay, the players had to go back out in the afternoon on Sunday to make up for the delay. Woods had a 48-minute turnaround and this was going to be a true test on his body.
In the afternoon they managed to play 11 holes before bad light ended play but Woods still had a three-shot lead over Matsuyama.
They all returned on Monday to finish their last 7 holes and Matsuyama had a chance on the 14th
to cut the lead down to 1 but he missed a 4-foot birdie putt and on the same hole Woods drained a 15-foot birdie putt and the lead was still three.
In the end Woods won by three and history was made in Japan.
“On behalf of the PGA TOUR, I would like to congratulate Tiger Woods for tying Sam Snead’s all-time PGA TOUR victories record of 82 at the inaugural ZOZO Championship,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan. “Today, we celebrate both Tiger and Sam Snead as they share a record that, given how difficult it is to win just once on the PGA TOUR, should sit squarely alongside the greatest accomplishments in sporting history. Tiger has inspired us throughout his career with his talent, passion and the ability to shine in big moments, and he continues to defy even the most outsized expectations with performances like we saw this week. Our fans certainly have a lot to look forward to in the coming season as Tiger sets his sights on win No. 83 – and more, I would suspect -- competing against many of the players he helped inspire along the way.”
We also take a sneak peak into the winners bag:
Driver: TaylorMade M5 (10.5 degrees)
Shafts: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ 60TX
3 Wood: TaylorMade M5 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ 70TX
5 Wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ 80TX
Irons: TaylorMade P-7TW (3-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100
Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind 2 (56 and 60 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400
Putter: Scotty Cameron Newport 2 GSS prototype
Golf Ball: Bridgestone Tour B XS
Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet