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Tiger's back - just like he told us

(Photo: Richard Fellner)
Tiger Woods is officially back. He's told us all on a number of occasions that it was close - today he put his money where his mouth was.

It might have been only a field of 18 which he defeated at the Chevron Challenge at Sherwood Oaks in California but it was the quality of those players and that he birdied his final two holes to catch and pass Zach Johnson that stamped his victory as something more than just victory in his own tournament.

Woods finished of what has been such an encouraging month with a one shot victory over Zach Johnson and by five over third placed Paul Casey.

Irrespective of what many of the golfing publics views of his off course goings on are they would join as one in welcoming back the golfer who has, almost single handedly, over the past over the past 15 years changed the way golf is perceived and played.

Woods bounced back from an indifferent third round to stay in touch with 54 hole leader until late in the round when he birdied the 17th from 20 feet and then spun it back from behind the hole to 10 feet at the last which he converted after Johnson had missed from slightly longer range.

It was vintage Woods and you could see by his reaction just how much the victory meant to him give what he has been through and put himself through in the two years since his last victory.

The victory and its accompanying world ranking points should move Woods back inside the top 25 which might not sound that impressive for a man of his credentials but for Woods it is a major step in the right direction in so many respects.

"They all feel good, you know, said Woods when asked how he felt compared to the last time he won.

"They're not easy. People don't realize how hard it is to win golf tournaments.

"I've gone on streaks where I have won golf tournaments in a row, but still, each one I don't think I've taken it for granted. And I know because of how hard it is.

"Some tournaments are easier than others because of how I'm playing. Then there are tournaments where I'm not playing well and somehow was able to scrap and scrounge every single stroke out of it and was able to wind up on top.

"I felt normal. Felt very comfortable. I've been here so many times that, you know, I just feel very comfortable being here in this position.

Was I nervous? Absolutely, I'm always nervous in that position. But it's a comfortable feeling, and I enjoy being in that position. For some reason, it is kind of a comfort to be in there with a chance to win.

"I felt very good how I was playing, how everything was progressing from playing the exhibition matches right before the Aussie Open, playing the Aussie Open, playing the Presidents Cup. I got better each and every tournament.'

Jason Day was the only Australian in the field but he struggled through the weekend especially, finishing in 15th position in the 18 man field.

Bruce Young
About The Author : Bruce Young

A multi-award winning golf journalist, Bruce's extensive knowledge of and background in the game of golf comes from several years caddying the tournament circuits of the world, marketing a successful golf course design company and as one of Australia's leading golf journalists and commentators.

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