Three-hundred and fifty-nine starts later, Tiger Woods’ place in the PGA Tour’s history books has been sealed with a record-equalling 82nd win.
The 15-time major winner held off home favourite Hideki Matsuyama to win the inaugural Zozo Championship, bringing him level with the great Sam Snead in total victories on the world’s most lucrative golf circuit.
Woods, 43, returned on Monday morning to complete the weather-delayed tournament, eventually signing for a three-shot victory at Accordia Golf Narashino CC in Japan.
It was his third win in his last 14 starts and his 14th triumph when holding at least a share of the lead after all four rounds.
The 27 birdies he rolled home was one off his career-high in any PGA Tour event and gives him a remarkable 22.8% win percentage – the highest in PGA Tour history among players with 200 or more career starts.
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This latest victory has also moved him to sixth on the Official World Golf Ranking.
Afterwards, he remarked: “it's just crazy. It's a lot. I've been able to be consistent most of my career and I've put myself up there with a chance to win on a number of occasions. There have been plenty of times where I didn't, but today was one of those days where I was going to pull it out.
“It's been a long week. Five days at the top of the board is a long time. It was definitely stressful.”
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Woods, who needed 66 less starts than Snead to reach 82 wins, admitted that he had started to consider the possibility of catching him after winning his 50th title at the Buick Open in 2006.
“Unfortunately, I went through some rough patches with my back and didn't play for a number of years, so that record seemed like it was out of reach,” he added. “Having had my fourth back procedure and being able to come back and play at a decently high level again, it put the number back in the conversation again. Lo and behold, here we are tied.
“I've been very fortunate to have had the career I've had so far.”
Woods’ latest victory has also moved him past the $120million mark in PGA Tour career earnings.
It was also the eighth time he has won his on his first PGA Tour start of the season. In five of the previous seven instances, he has gone on to win at least one major that season…