Tiger WOODS ended a two-year title drought by winning the Chevron World Challenge and admitted: “It feels awesome.”
The former world number one was trailing his fellow American Zach Johnson by a shot heading to the closing two holes of the tournament which he hosts in Thousand Oaks, California.
But Woods pulled out a two at the short 17th and then added a birdie three at the last to close out victory and deny his playing partner.
It gave him his first Stateside win since the BMW Championship in September 2009 and his first of any kind since the Australian Masters in November of the same year.
Woods made a 69 to finish ten under par for the tournament, one ahead of Johnson who carded a 71.
Asked after clinching victory whether it felt like joy, relief or satisfaction, Woods said: “It feels awesome whatever it is.”
England’s Paul Casey, who began the week with a 79, finished third on five under after shooting 69.
Woods had conceded the overnight lead to Johnson after a third round of 73, but he only trailed by one shot and it remained tight between the pair throughout the closing 18 holes. But when it mattered most Woods made back-to-back birdies, securing the swing he needed to take the title and the US$1.2 million (£770,000) winner’s cheque.
Woods now returns to the world’s top 25, up from 52nd to 21st, and pointed to his decision to take time off to deal with knee and Achilles injuries in the summer as a vital step.
“I felt that in order for me to play the way I know I can play, I had to get fully fit. I had to get healthy and to where I was strong and explosive again so I could practice,” Woods said.
Hunter Mahan and Matt Kuchar shared fourth place on four under, three clear of Jim Furyk, Martin Laird, Rickie Fowler and Bubba Watson who tied for sixth. Scotland’s Laird finished with a 70, after yesterday’s 66.