Tiger Woods yesterday said that his latest injury comeback to win the Zozo Championship and tie the PGA Tour’s win record had ended the “most challenging” phase of his career.
Woods held off Hideki Matsuyama at Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club to equal Sam Snead’s record of 82 wins and move to No. 6 in the world rankings.
It was his first tournament since arthroscopic knee surgery in August and came after he started the tournament with three straight bogeys.
Four back surgeries, countless knee operations, marital strife and run-ins with the law meant Woods had not won a major since 2008 and no tournaments since 2013 when he teed up at the Players Championship at East Lake, Atlanta, just over a year ago.
Not only did he win the Tour Championship for his first victory in five years, Woods went on to secure a 15th major title in Augusta, Georgia, earlier this year.
Now he stands unsurpassed as the most successful PGA Tour golfer of all time.
“Well, it’s satisfying to dig my way out of it and figure out a way,” said Woods, who finished three shots clear on 19-under. “As far as playing, I didn’t really know that I would come back and play at this level, but I’ve come back with different games over the years, moving patterns, and this one’s been obviously the most challenging.”
“Then having another procedure a couple months ago, and again coming back and winning an event, not easy to do, but I trust my hands and today was no different,” he said.
Woods recalled as a five-year-old in 1981 getting to play with Snead.
“I played with Sam at, I think, it was Calabasas Country Club,” Woods said. “He was doing an outing there, and I had come out to play the 17th and 18th holes with him. I remember hitting the ball into a little creek, and playing it out of the water and making bogey. I bogeyed the last and he went par, par. It was the only time I ever got a chance to play with Sam Snead — I was two down through two.”
While Snead registered his 82nd win at the age of 52, Woods is nine years younger.
“As far as playing until 52, I hope that’s the case,” Woods said. “If you would have asked me a few years ago, I would have given you a different answer, but certainly the future looks brighter than it has.”
That includes returning to Japan for the Olympics next year.
“I hope to qualify for the team and represent my country,” he said. “I know some of my friends have made Olympic teams before in the past and they said it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
Chen Jifang hits the gym for at least two hours every day and has the physique to prove it. At nearly 70, she is being held up as a shining example as China orders its vast population to get fit and lose the bulge. The grandmother from Shanghai has become a minor celebrity in in the past few months after her newfound and unlikely love for working out made national headlines. After becoming a gym regular in December 2018, Chen lost 14kg in three months, and now sports the kind of flat stomach and toned muscles that people decades younger aspire to. She
’SO CONSISTENT’: The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record and their fourth title of the season after successes in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico. It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February. “After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site.
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