Woods defies skeptics to match Snead’s Tour record

(Accordia Golf Narashino CC, Chiba:) Tiger Woods brilliantly continues to defy the skeptics muscling his way to a three-shot victory in the rain-affected ZOZO Championship and in the process tie the late Sam Snead’s record of 82 PGA Tour victories.

Woods, 43, was virtually in a class of his own throughout the eventual four-and-and-a-half days of the inaugural PGA Tour event in Japan.

Tiger Woods Tiger Woods (Credit: PGA Tour)

“This is big. Hideki made it tight. It was a lot closer than people maybe thought,” said Woods.

“It’s been a long week. Five days at the top of the board if a long time and it was definitely stressful.”

“It’s just crazy. It’ s a lot. I have been able to be consistent most of my career and have put myself up there with a chance to win on a number of occasions, there was plenty of times I didn’t but today was one of those days where I was able to pull it out,” said Woods when asked abut what it means to him to match Sam Snead’s record.

The 15-time Major winner superbly set himself up for victory with a pair of 64s and then kept clear of the chasing pack with an eventual third round 66.

Woods was still two clear of his rivals through 11 holes of his final round late on Sunday when darkness halted play.

However, the sun shone brigthly early Monday morning with Woods completing his closing seven holes of the $US 9.75m event in one-under par, for a score of 67 and a 19-under par tally to finish three clear of local Japan hero, Hideki Matsuyama (67), who finished on 16-under par.

World No. 2 Rory McIlroy also muscled his way to a share of third place after recording a closing round of 67 to end his opening event of the 2019/20 PGA Tour wraparound season tied with newly-crowned PGA Tour Rookie Of The Year, Sunjae Im (65).

Six months on from Woods’ emotional truimph at Augusta National where he defied many doubters to capture a 15th Major Championship and his first Major in 11-years, and again the champion American has added to golf’s history books in matching ‘Slamming Sam’s’ record of the most wins on the PGA Tour.

Tiger was also asked about what Tiger, the Presidents Cup captain, thought about Tiger, the player’s chances of playing in Melbourne in December and the 15-time major champ was quick with his comeback:

“I think the player definitely got the captain’s attention.”

While some observers have been suggesting that Tiger should focus on the captaincy given his return from yet another round of knee surgery and his relative lack of tournament play this season, his latest heroics would suggest he would have to be an almost certain pick if he wants the gig.

Among those to be first to formally congratulate Woods wad PGA Tour Commissioner, Jay Monahan.

“On behalf of the PGA Tour, I would like to congratulate Tiger Woods for tying Sam Snead’s all-time PGA Tour victories record of 82 at the inaugural ZOZO Championship,” said Monahan.

“Today, we celebrate both Tiger and Sam Snead as they share a record that, given how difficult it is to win just once on the PGA Tour should sit squarely alongside the greatest accomplishments in sporting history. Tiger has inspired us throughout his career with his talent, passion and the ability to shine in big moments, and he continues to defy even the most outsized expectations with performances like we saw this week.

“Our fans certainly have a lot to look forward to in the coming season as Tiger sets his sights on win No. 83 – and more, I would suspect — competing against many of the players he helped inspire along the way.”

Jason Day fought his way back from an opening 73 to finish the best of the Australians in a share of 22nd place at 6-under with Adam Scott another three shots back at 33rd. Marc Leishman couldn’t find his game and finished well down the leaderboard in 69th place at 6-over.

The PGA Tour now heads to China for the $10.25m World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions in Shanghai.

Tiger Woods’ PGA Tour Career Record

1Oct 06 1996Las Vegas Invitational
2Oct 20 1996Walt Disney World/Oldsmobile Classic
3Jan 12 1997Mercedes Championships
4Apr 13 1997Masters Tournament
5May 18 1997GTE Byron Nelson Golf Classic
6Jul 06 1997Motorola Western Open
7May 10 1998BellSouth Classic
8Feb 14 1999Buick Invitational
9Jun 06 1999Memorial Tournament
10Jul 04 1999Motorola Western Open
11Aug 15 1999PGA Championship
12Aug 29 1999NEC Invitational
13Oct 24 1999National Car Rental Golf Classic Disney
14Oct 31 1999The Tour Championship
15Nov 07 1999American Express Championship
16Jan 09 2000Mercedes Championships
17Feb 07 2000AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am
18Mar 19 2000Bay Hill Invitational
19May 29 2000Memorial Tournament
20Jun 18 2000U.S. Open
21Jul 23 2000The Open Championship
22Aug 20 2000PGA Championship
23Aug 27 2000NEC Invitational
24Sep 10 2000Bell Canadian Open
25Mar 18 2001Bay Hill Invitational
26Mar 25 2001The Players Championship
27Apr 08 2001Masters Tournament
28Jun 03 2001Memorial Tournament
29Aug 26 2001NEC Invitational
30Mar 17 2002Bay Hill Invitational
31Apr 14 2002Masters Tournament
32Jun 16 2002U.S. Open
33Aug 11 2002Buick Open
34Sep 22 2002American Express Championship
35Feb 16 2003Buick Invitational
36Mar 02 2003Accenture Match Play Championship
37Mar 23 2003Bay Hill Invitational
38Jul 06 2003100th Western Open
39Oct 05 2003American Express Championship
40Feb 29 2004Accenture Match Play Championship
41Jan 23 2005Buick Invitational
42Mar 06 2005Ford Championship at Doral
43Apr 10 2005Masters Tournament
44Jul 17 2005The Open Championship
45Aug 21 2005NEC Invitational
46Oct 09 2005American Express Championship
47Jan 29 2006Buick Invitational
48Mar 05 2006Ford Championship at Doral
49Jul 23 2006The Open Championship
50Aug 06 2006Buick Open
51Aug 20 2006PGA Championship
52Aug 27 2006Bridgestone Invitational
53Sep 04 2006Deutsche Bank Championship
54Oct 01 2006American Express Championship
55Jan 28 2007Buick Invitational
56Mar 25 2007CA Championship
57May 06 2007Wachovia Championship
58Aug 05 2007Bridgestone Invitational
59Aug 12 2007PGA Championship
60Sep 09 2007BMW Championship
61Sep 16 2007The Tour Championship
62Jan 27 2008Buick Invitational
63Feb 24 2008Accenture Match Play Championship
64Mar 16 2008Arnold Palmer Invitational
65Jun 16 2008U.S. Open
66Mar 29 2009Arnold Palmer Invitational
67Jun 07 2009Memorial Tournament
68Jul 05 2009AT&T National
69Aug 02 2009Buick Open
70Aug 09 2009Bridgestone Invitational
71Sep 13 2009BMW Championship
72Mar 25 2012Arnold Palmer Invitational
73Jun 03 2012Memorial Tournament
74Jul 01 2012AT&T National
75Jan 28 2013Farmers Insurance Open
76Mar 10 2013Cadillac Championship
77Mar 25 2013Arnold Palmer Invitational
78May 12 2013The Players Championship
79Aug 04 2013Bridgestone Invitational
80Sep 23 2018The Tour Championship
81Apr 14 2019Masters Tournament
82Oct 27 2019ZoZo Championship