Tiger Woods rolled to an eight-stroke win at the Tour Championship, locking up the first FedEx Cup title.
Tiger Woods wins Tour Championship, captures first FedEx Cup

As if the PGA Tour needed another platform to prove who's the best player in the game, the winner of the first FedEx Cup is - surprise, surprise - Tiger Woods.

Entering Sunday's final round of the Tour Championship with a three-stroke lead, Woods widened the gap with a 4-under-par 66 to produce an eight-shot victory over the rest of the 30-player field in the final event of the PGA's playoffs. Woods finished with a tournament-record score of 23-under 257 to claim the $1.26 million first-place check at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta.

Woods, who skipped the first playoff stop at The Barclays, won two of the three FedEx Cup events, also taking the BMW Championship after tying for second in the Deutsche Bank Championship. Woods finished the year with seven wins in 16 PGA Tour events played and won four of his last five starts to finish with $10,867,052 in earnings.

Now, Woods can add to that the $10 million deferred prize for winning the FedEx Cup.

"For me, I don't look at what the purse is or prize money," Woods said in his post-round press conference. "You play, and when you play, you play to win, period. That's how my dad raised me: you go out there and win.

"If you win, everything will take care of itself. You take great pride in what you do on the golf course, and when you're able to win events, that's when you can go home and be very proud of what you've done."

While finishing atop the FedEx Cup standings carried with it the larger monetary gain, Woods said he was very pleased to win the title at the Tour Championship.

"I think winning this week is pretty special," Woods said. "Winning the FedExCup is one thing, but I think as a player you always want to win the Tour Championship. There's history involved, and the players who have won it, these are basically the 30 hottest players for this year and you know you're going to have your hands full coming into this week."

Then again, the rest of the field clearly had plenty to deal with trying to contend with Woods. The No. 1-ranked player in the world opened the tournament with a pair of 64s sandwiched around a 63, giving the best front-runner in golf history plenty of room for error.

Masters champion Zach Johnson, who tied for second with Mark Calcavecchia, jokingly questioned the wisdom of the PGA Tour creating another award for Woods to set his sights on besides just chasing after the record of 18 major championships held by Jack Nicklaus.

"The man has got goals," Johnson said. "I don't know what his goals are. Obviously he's trying to improve, but obviously 18 is his number, trying to catch Jack in majors. Winning golf tournaments would probably be next.

"You throw another thing at him -- it just makes it even worse for us. Why give him another thing to try to achieve?"

Calcavecchia, who was paired with the first FedEx Cup champion, said Woods simply appeared to be on cruise control in the final round.

"He missed a couple of drives, but he just sets up his game by driving it well," Calcavecchia said. "When he bombs it down there in the fairway, his distance control is so good and his short irons are so good and he controls his spin.

"And putting, he's the best ever -- best ever, period."

Woods started the day 1-over through his first five holes, including making a big par-saving putt at No. 3, before turning it on. He birdied three of the last four holes prior to making the turn and had birdies on holes 13, 14 and 16 before making bogey at No. 17.

"I really played well today," Woods said. "I hit a bunch of good shots. I think the putt at (No. 3) today was a big putt. I needed to make that putt - didn't want to lose two shots back to back and give the guys ahead of me all the momentum.

"From there, I really played some good golf - got on a birdie run there in the middle part of the round and basically put it away."

September 17, 2007

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