Healthy after his latest medical procedure, Woods continued pursuit of his 82nd PGA Tour victory and led Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama by three shots when play in the final round of the Zozo Championship was suspended Sunday after 11 holes because of visibility issue. If he can wrap up the win, he will tie Sam Snead for Tour victories. The final round of the Inzai, Japan, tournament will resume at 7:30 a.m. Monday.
Woods has led from the start in the tournament, which has been buffeted by bad weather and 10 inches of rain in a typhoon that caused the second round at Accordia Golf Narashina Country Club to be postponed. Woods ended up playing 29 holes of golf and he admitted it was tough.
“Today has been a long day in the saddle, so early wake-up call tomorrow and back at it again,” Woods said (via the PGA Tour). “I’m gonna try to win, there is no doubt about that. I have a job to do tomorrow, start off from the 12th hole, it’s not one of the easiest of holes so right out of the gate I’ve got one of the hardest holes on the golf course.”
Woods is making his first start in his 23rd season on the Tour and his first since having a fifth surgery on his left knee on Aug. 20. The last time he played more than 18 holes, he said, he used a cart. The larger challenge, though, was mental and he played the first 11 holes in 2 under, with three birdies and a bogey.
“I think it’s the mind,” said Woods (64-64-66), who began play in the final round 48 minutes after finishing the third. “Being in it for 10 hours is a long period of time, the mind tends to wander a little bit and just got to grab it and make it come back and be 100 percent committed on the shot.”
If he can wrap up the win, he’s a likely choice for the Presidents Cup team that will play Dec. 12-15 at Royal Melbourne. Woods, the U.S. captain, will make his picks Nov. 7.
As for history, Woods and Snead are the only two golfers with 80 or more PGA titles. Snead won his 82nd when he was 52. Woods, the Masters champion last April, is nine years younger.
“Well, if I do what I’m supposed to do, and get the job done, then I get a W,” Woods said. “I guess that will add up to the 82 number, but my main focus is doing what I need to do to get the W first.”