INZAI CITY, Japan (AP) — For Tiger Woods, it all comes down to consistency.
Surgeries on his knee and back and a crisis in his personal life have cost him opportunities to play his best golf over the past decade. But when he’s been healthy and free from off-course distractions, he’s always found ways to win. And now, he’s won as much as anybody on the PGA Tour.
Woods completed a wire-to-wire victory at the Zozo Championship on Monday, equaling Sam Snead’s PGA Tour record of 82 victories.
“It’s a big number,” Woods said. “It’s a lot of consistency and doing it for a long period of time, Sam did it into his 50s and I’m in my early to mid-40s, so it’s about being consistent and doing it for a very long period of time. I’ve been very fortunate to have the career I’ve had so far.”
The 43-year-old returned Monday to play the final seven holes in the rain-hit tournament, completing a 3-under 67 to beat local favorite Hideki Matsuyama by three strokes at Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club.
Woods had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee two months ago — his fifth on the same problem joint. He’s also had four back surgeries, including a spinal fusion, and looked at times as if his career was over, but he returned to win the Tour Championship in 2018 before his triumph at the Masters in April for his 15th major.
The Japan event was Woods’ first start of his 23rd season on the PGA Tour.