Tiger Woods secures record 82nd US PGA Tour win in Japan

Monday October 28 2019
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Tiger Woods of the US tees off at the 5th hole during the fourth round of the PGA Zozo Championship golf tournament at the Narashino Country Club in Inzai, Chiba prefecture on October 27, 2019. AFP PHOTO

Tiger Woods said it was "crazy" after he made golfing history Monday by holding off the challenge of home favourite Hideki Matsuyama to win the weather-delayed Zozo Championship by three shots.
The 15-time major winner Woods finished 19-under par to equal US legend Sam Snead's all-time record of 82 US PGA Tour victories set 54 years ago.

Woods, in his first outing since arthroscopic knee surgery two months ago, broke into a huge smile after he safely got up and down from a greenside bunker at the 18th for a birdie and three-under final round of 67.

"It's just crazy. It's a lot," the 43-year-old Woods said of his 82nd official Tour victory. His first came 23 years ago this month in Las Vegas when he was just 20.
"It's been a long week, five days at the top of the board is a long time. It was definitely stressful."
Woods led from gun to tape in the inaugural US PGA Tour event in Japan, which saw Friday's play washed out by the fringes of a typhoon that dumped almost 10 inches of rain on the course 50 miles (80km) from Tokyo, forcing play into an extra day.

World number two Rory McIlroy finished birdie-birdie for a 67 and a share of third place on 13-under par with South Korea's PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Im Sung-jae who carded a fine five-under 65.
Woods resumed his final round, suspended due to darkness on Sunday, at 7.30 am on the long par-12th at Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club but saw his overnight three-shot cushion over Matsuyama immediately cut to two.

The 15-time major winner missed the green with his approach and fell back to 17-under par as he failed to get up and down.
Woods's early-morning putter was cold, and on the short 13th he failed to take advantage from six feet for a birdie.

Up ahead on the 14th green, Matsuyama inexplicably spurned an easy opportunity to reduce the deficit to one as he missed a four-foot birdie putt.
Woods was then faced with a similar line of putt as Matsuyama on 14, but from 20 feet further away. He did not miss, and restored his three-shot advantage with four holes remaining.
Woods missed another birdie chance, from 10 feet, at the 15th and was watching from the 16th tee 181 yards away as Matsuyama walked in a 20-footer for his first birdie of the day to get to 16-under.


Matsuyama crushed a drive down the middle of the 491-yard 17th and found the putting surface with his approach.
Matsuyama's fine attempt to hole the putt slid by on the left and he found sand twice on the par-five 18th as he went in search of an eagle.
Matsuyama's greenside bunker shot flew the flag and when he missed the long putt back his brave challenge ended at 16-under for the tournament after a final-round 67.
"This was big," said a smiling Woods.
"Hideki made it tight. It was a lot closer than what people probably thought. Hideki put heat on me."

The legend grows: Life and career of Tiger Woods
Career timeline of Tiger Woods, who won the Zozo Championship in Japan Monday for a record-equalling 82nd US PGA Tour victory:
-- August 1996: Turns professional after an outstanding amateur career and is named PGA Rookie of the Year. Wins first US PGA Tour event in October
-- April 1997: At the age of 21 wins the first of 15 majors at the US Masters and becomes the youngest to wear the Green Jacket
-- June 1997: Rises to world number one for the first time
-- June 2000: Wins US Open at Pebble Beach by a record 15 strokes
-- July 2000: Becomes fifth player to complete career Grand Slam by winning the Open Championship at St Andrews

-- April 2001: Wins second US Masters at Augusta National to complete "Tiger Slam" and hold all four majors simultaneously
-- April 2002: Defends successfully at Augusta for third Green Jacket
-- June 2002: Wins his second US Open at Bethpage Black and becomes youngest in history to win seven majors
-- September 2004: Loses top ranking to Vijay Singh after a record 264 weeks as number one in world

-- April 2005: After two seasons without a major wins fourth Masters, defeating Chris DiMarco in a playoff
-- July 2005: Lifts the Claret Jug at St Andrews for his second Open Championship and 10th major. Joins Jack Nicklaus as only players to win all four majors twice
-- May 2006: Father and mentor Earl dies aged 74
-- July 2006: Breaks down in tears after winning third Open and 11th major at age of 30 at Hoylake. "It just came pouring out of me, all the things my dad meant to me, and the game of golf," he said. "I just wish he could have seen it one more time."

-- August 2006 wins third US PGA Championship at Medinah, Illinois, and a year later repeats the feat at Southern Hills, Oklahoma
-- June 2008: Two months after knee surgery, wins US Open and 14th major. Plays through intense pain to win at first sudden-death hole after an 18-hole Monday playoff against Rocco Mediate. Ends his season and heads back to the operating theatre for more repairs to left knee
-- November 2009: A car accident outside his Florida home unearths infidelities that wreck his marriage. Takes an "indefinite break from professional golf" in the aftermath
-- April 2010: Returns to action at the US Masters where he finishes fourth but mounting injuries take their toll and his ranking starts to plummet
-- March 2013: After a return to form and fitness in 2012, victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational elevates him once more to world number one

-- March 2014: Injures himself during the Honda Classic and skips the Masters for first time to undergo back surgery
-- May 2014: Loses world number one spot to Australia's Adam Scott
-- February 2015: Withdraws injured from a tournament at Torrey Pines announces another extended break from competition
-- September 2015: Woods has back surgery to remove spinal disc fragments pressing on a nerve
-- February 2017: Returns from 16-month layoff only for back spasms to force him to pull out of Dubai Desert Classic
-- April 2017: Unable to play in Masters and announces more surgery to alleviate back and leg pain
-- May 2017: Arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence in Jupiter, Florida
-- January 2018: Returns to the US PGA Tour with tied 23rd at Torry Pines

-- April 2018: Finishes tied 32nd at the Masters, his first major since the 2015 US PGA Championship
-- June 2018: Misses cut at the US Open at Shinnecock Hills with rounds of 78-72
-- July 2018: Bounces back at the Open Championship at Carnoustie, finishing in a three-way tie for sixth three shots behind winner Francesco Molinari
- August 2018: Finishes second to Brooks Koepka at US PGA Championship at Bellerive

- September 2018: Returns to winner's circle at the season-ending Tour Championship in Atlanta, his first victory since the Bridgestone Invitational in August 2013
-- April 2019: Woods wins his fifth US Masters at Augusta National 14 years after his fourth. Ends an 11-year wait for his 15th major
-- October 2019: Wins inaugural Zozo Championship in Japan on return from latest knee surgery to equal all-time record of 82 US PGA Tour wins set by legend Sam Snead 54 years ago