Spinal fusion surgery previous year has helped the 14-time major victor regain his swing and last night at East Lake he proved that he can still triumph at the highest level. Other than number three, every putt was uphill, so it was nice.
"The fans and the commotion".
"I can't believe I pulled this off", Woods said during the trophy presentation. But not to this fevered pitch. I still needed to play the hole, and once I hit the ball into the bunker" - which caused a large sigh - "I tried to miss it right of the flag. You can't clap when you've got a cell phone in your hand!
Now he is expected to go to No. 13 in the world after dropping as low as 1,199th late past year. I said: "Hey, I could blade this thing out of bounds". I looked back, and then I saw all the crowd just swamping down the fairway, too, and the atmosphere around the 18th green. "I have to go out there, take care of my business, and hopefully that's good enough".
"I felt more pressure as I was throwing it away, but when I got back toknowing what I had to do I clicked into gear in the nick of time".
Hogan and his wife Valerie survived a head-on collision with a Greyhound bus in February 1949, an accident which left the 36-year-old Hogan in hospital for two months with a double fracture of the pelvis, a fractured collar bone, a left ankle fracture, a chipped rib, and near-fatal blood clots.
". I didn't think I'd ever play again", recalled Woods, while lamenting the recent difficulties of just getting through a day, without any injury setbacks. The struggle has made the victory taste all the sweeter.
Woods has not been the closer of old in his return this year from a spinal fusion, most notably at the British Open at Carnoustie where he charged into the lead halfway through the final round before faltering. Just to be able to compete and play again this year, that's a hell of a comeback.
A chaotic celebration that golf hasn't seen even in the best of times. Woods didn't know if he was going to be able to live a pain-free life.
The staid ol' Tour Championship became a boisterous street party late Sunday afternoon, the fans storming down the middle of the 18th fairway like a bunch of crazed college kids laying siege to a football field after a last-second victory.
Woods had still not spoken with his children, due to his media duties, and got up after his 20 minutes in the media tent to make a special phone call home.
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