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Greatest Golfer Alive Breaks Silence After Tiger's Historic 80th Win: 'Issues Were Between His Ears'

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Tiger Woods looked like the Tiger Woods of old this past weekend, notching a wire-to-wire victory at the PGA Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta.

It was his first victory since he won the Bridgestone Invitational in August of 2013 and he received congratulatory messages from throughout the golf world — including the legendary Jack Nicklaus.

“My congratulations to @TigerWoods on winning the @playofffinale. I am very happy for him and extremely proud of him. Tiger has worked very hard to get to this place, and has played very well all season,” Nicklaus tweeted.

Woods led, or held a share or the lead, after all four rounds to win the final event of the PGA Tour season by two shots over Billy Horschel. He came within a stroke of winning the season-long Fed Ex Cup, finishing second to winner Justin Rose. Rose needed a birdie on the 72nd hole to beat out Woods for the Cup.

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“It was a grind out there,” Woods said after the win. “I loved every bit of it. The fight and the grind and the tough conditions and just had to suck it up and hit shots, and I loved every bit of it.”

A year ago at this time, Woods wasn’t sure he would ever play again after missing most of the previous year with back problems. His world ranking had plummeted to 1,142nd.

But one year later he is the 13th ranked player in the world. His comeback season, at age 42, included two runner-up finishes, eight top 10s, 17 of 19 cuts made, and one big win.

Were you among those who assumed Tiger Woods would never win again?

“I never dreamed @TigerWoods could come back and swing the way he has, after surgery. I think you could argue he’s swinging better than he has ever in his life. He has played fantastically!” Nicklaus, the 18-time major winner also tweeted Sunday night.

Once the comeback began and he started contending again, the biggest hurdle was not physical but mental, said Nicklaus.

“I think throughout this year some of @TigerWoods issues were between his ears, as he had to remember how to win again. Tiger has been close, almost there. You knew he was going to win soon, and this week he did it,” Nicklaus tweeted.

While it’s unlikely that Woods, at age 42, will ever catch Nicklaus’ record of 18 majors, he’s proven that he has the game to win one, maybe two more majors.

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What’s more realistically in Woods sights now is to become the PGA’s all-time career wins leader. With the win at the Tour Championship, Woods notched his 80th career win on the PGA Tour. That edges him closer to the all-time wins leader Sam Snead, who has 82 tour victories.

Woods won’t have much time to savor this weekend’s victory. He’s off to Paris with the rest of the U.S. Ryder Cup team to defend its championship in the prestigious match-play event, which begins Friday.

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Dave is a lifelong sports fan who has been writing for The Wildcard since 2017. He has been a writer for more than 20 years for a variety of publications.
Dave has been writing about sports for The Wildcard since 2017. He's been a reporter and editor for over 20 years, covering everything from sports to financial news. In addition to writing for The Wildcard, Dave has covered mutual funds for Pensions and Investments, meetings and conventions, money market funds, personal finance, associations, and he currently covers financial regulations and the energy sector for Macallan Communications. He has won awards for both news and sports reporting.
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