You remember Tiger Woods on Sundays? Red shirt, jackwagons in the gallery yelling “get in the hole” with every swing, the grin, the victorious fist pump?
That guy and that scene — missing since the 2009 Australian Masters — were back Sunday, with Woods beating Zach Johnson by one stroke in the Chevron World Challenge at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, Calif. He birdied the final two holes and finished at 10-under 278. Oh, sure, the tournament is a far cry from majors that Woods used to regularly tuck away, but at this point for him a win is a win is a win. The Chevron is not a PGA Tour event; it is an 18-player invitational that benefits his foundation.
Woods, who has dealt with personal problems, a divorce, injuries, a revamped golf game and a fired caddie since a tumultous 2009 Thanksgiving auto accident just a couple of weeks after that Australian win, wasn’t sure what to call what he was feeling; he was asked whether it was “joy, satisfaction or relief.”
“It feels awesome, whatever it is,” Woods said in an NBC interview.
With the win, his first in 749 days, Woods moves from 52nd in the world rankings to 21st — still a far cry from the No. 1 spot he used to own, but he’ll take it. With a fist pump.
“They all feel good, you know. They’re not easy,” Woods said. “People don’t realize how hard it is to win golf tournaments. I’ve gone on streaks where I’ve won golf tournaments in a row, but still, each one, I don’t think I’ve taken it for granted.
“And I know, because of how hard it is.”