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Dublin: 5 °C Wednesday 19 December, 2018

Tiger soars up the world rankings after starting his comeback season in 650th

After last night’s win, Woods is back inside the top 20.

Woods ended his five-year wait for glory last night.
Woods ended his five-year wait for glory last night.
Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

TIGER WOODS’ MEMORABLE comeback win has seen the 14-time Major winner surge up the world rankings, having started the season as low as 650th.

Woods held his nerve to claim a memorable victory at the Tour Championship on Sunday for his 80th career PGA Tour title, two shy of Sam Snead’s all-time record, and his first victory in 1,876 days.

It was an emotional triumph as the 42-year-old fought back tears before making the final putt to become a champion once again after once fearing he might never play again.

Ahead of this week’s Ryder Cup in Paris, Woods has now climbed back inside the world’s top 20 to the number 13 berth, his highest ranking since 2014.

“I just can’t believe I pulled this off,” he said afterwards. “It hasn’t been so easy the last couple of years. It’s hard to believe I was able to do it again.”

Nagging back injuries led to four operations since 2014, including a “last chance” spinal fusion that has helped him to regain the form of glory days.

“It’s certainly up there with obviously all the major championships I’ve won,” Woods continued. “I just didn’t know whether this would ever happen again. It means a lot. It really does.

“Eighty is a big number. I’ve been sitting on 79 for about five years now, and to get 80 is a pretty damned good feeling.

“Sam is still ahead of me. Maybe I’ll keep chipping away at that number and maybe surpass it. But what I’ve gone through and what I’ve dealt with, I’ve gotten lucky.”

Meanwhile, Dustin Johnson regained his number one ranking spot from Justin Rose, despite the Englishman claiming the season-ending FedEx Cup title and its $10 million prize.

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Ryan Bailey

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