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Both Bell and Kanell have been wishing and predicting Tiger success at certain majors and tourneys throughout the year, but they're thrilled that Woods waited until the Tour Championship to finally capture that first win in five years. "Let's see if he wins a major championship next year", said Donegan.

"I've been sitting on 79 [wins] for five years now". "It is a time to go out and play".

But the U.S. captain mischievously suggested that the joyful reception the gathered team had for the victor was for someone else entirely.

The United States team comprises six of the world's top 10 and 11 of the top 17, including No 1 Dustin Johnson, No 3 Brooks Koepka and No 4 Justin Thomas. Woods explained to reporters that from there, he just wanted to play like "every weekend hacker" - not mess up.

Much of that was put down to his singular, often aloof attitude in the past that did not lend itself to a team environment.

Much has happened since, including four back surgeries and his arrest for driving under the influence of painkillers in May previous year which showed the world a champion at his lowest.

Tiger Woods was walking down the 18th fairway on Sunday as the leader on this final day of the Tour Championship, striding and smiling side-by-side with playing partner Rory McIlroy, and without any invitation besides their own joy, dozens and then hundreds of fans began thundering behind the pair in an impromptu parade that verged on stampede.

Play gets underway with a quartet of fourballs matches on Friday morning, followed by foursomes in the afternoon - and it is the same set-up on Saturday, ahead of Sunday's singles matches.

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For so many years, the scene was familiar. I am very happy for him and extremely proud of him. "I still had a two-shot lead, but anything could still happen".

The return of Tiger Woods to the winner's circle this morning brings back memories of Michael Campbell's achievement in the golfing world.

"I said, "Yeah, I just don't have the tight trousers and the hair", said Woods.

However, he added, Tiger was fully invested in the USA team and had put aside individual achievement, no matter how big a personal milestone it was for him. "He gets people interested in the game of golf, and if people see that there's a women's golf event in their town, they'll be more likely now to come and check it out simply because Woods gave them exposure to the game or got them excited about it". "It was great for the greater aspect of the game".

"We're flying tonight with the guys, it's going to be fun", said Woods.

NBC Sports Group said the overnight rating from the Tour Championship was 5.21, the highest-rated telecast in the 12-year history of the FedEx Cup playoffs, which cover 48 events featuring some of the strongest fields of the year.

"I was pleased for Sergio", Bjorn said. "Am I going to be able to sit, stand, walk, lay down without feeling the pain that I was in". I know they will be boisterous.

"I was a vice-captain in 2016, but it's different being a player", he continued. We all know that Sergio at his best, he's one of the best golfers in the world.