Tiger Woods has equalled the record of 82 PGA Tour wins held by fellow American Same Stead by winning the inaugural Zozo Championship in Japan on Monday.
Woods three-shot win over local favourite Hideki Matsuyama helped him pocket $1.75 million in his first PGA Tour event in Asia in seven years.
“This is big. Hideki made it tight. It was a lot closer than what people probably thought,” Woods said. “Just amazed to be at the lead for the better part of five days now. With the weather, it’s been a long time at the top of the board and stressful and Hideki made it really tough on me today.”
Bad weather had forced the event to Monday with Woods finishing 19-under total of 261 at the Narashino Country Club.
Matsuyama said, “I needed to shoot at least three or four (birdies today), but I’m disappointed I wasn’t able to perform like that.”
This is Woods first win since he broke Majors title drought earlier this year with his 15th such title at the Masters in April. He failed to qualify for the season-ending Tour Championship after which he underwent an arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in August.
“It’s satisfying to dig my way out of it and figure out a way,” Woods, 43, said. ‘There were some hard times trying to figure it out, but I’ve come back with different games over the years, moving patterns, and this one’s been obviously the most challenging.”
Woods first title victory came in 1996 at the Las Vegas International.