Tiger's Back! Woods Brings Home First Golf Victory Since 2013

Tiger Woods rides hot start to brink of Tour Championship win

Stuck in those five years are multiple back surgeries, an embarrassing DUI arrest and an admission that he wasn't sure if he would ever play again.

Woods, 42, triumphed in vintage form, owning the course at East Lake Golf Club from Day 1 with a performance that was equal parts magical and methodical.

He tapped in a par to win it, leaned over the hole to pluck the ball out - gingerly, so as not to tweak that back - and rose both arms into the air.

"I said, "Hey, I could still play this thing out of bounds" so suck it up and hit some shots here".

"I didn't want to get run over", Woods said later with a laugh. It also leaves him two short of Sam Snead's record of 82 tour wins, and puts him at No. 13 in the world rankings after starting his comeback at No. 1,199.

Tiger has missed golf, but judging by the reaction of the fans, it is clear golf has missed its biggest star more.

"I've been in bed for about two years and haven't been able to do much", Woods revealed ahead of the Hero World Challenge, where he would finish ninth in the 18-man field.

"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".

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On the final day of the British Open in July, Woods ascended to the top of the leaderboard before a few hiccups cost him.

He fired a 62 earlier this month and has also done enough to force himself into the United States of America team for next week's Ryder Cup. Had Rose not birdied the last, Woods would have won his third FedEx title. I loved every bit of it, the fight, the grind, the tough conditions. If he finishes that way, Woods will win the $10 million prize for the FedEx Cup by winning the Tour Championship. It is his 80th victory on the PGA Tour, but his first since the 2013 Bridgestone Invitational.

"When you have such a long time between victories, getting that first one is the most important", Robert Littal, editor at website Blacksportsonline, told Al Jazeera.

With that kind of scene in Atlanta, who would blame him?

Sure, the Tour Championship's not a major, and we mostly remember the majors. McIlroy shot 39 on the front nine to fall out of contention and finished with a 74 and in a tie for seventh.

Tiger Woods leads the Tour Championship by three strokes at 12-under heading into the final round on Sunday, and he certainly looked ready for competition two hours before he tees off. It was Johnson who unveiled red shirts at the Ryder Cup two years ago in the team room that said "Make Tiger Great Again".

The electric mood for Tiger won't be stopping any time soon - with the Ryder Cup fast approaching, expect the crowds to be just as rowdy for Woods this weekend.

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