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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 October 2018

Tiger Woods happy to show the 'younger guys' he can still win - now focus turns to improving Ryder Cup record

Former world No 1 ended his five year wait for a PGA Tour title when he claimed victory at the Tour Championship on Sunday

Tiger Woods speaks to the media ahead of the 2018 Ryder Cup at Le Golf National. Getty Images
Tiger Woods speaks to the media ahead of the 2018 Ryder Cup at Le Golf National. Getty Images

Tiger Woods will need the support of his fellow players to improve his Ryder Cup record, just days after admitting he took great delight at reminding them - and some European rivals - how good he is in individual events.

Woods completed one of the greatest comebacks in sport after holding his nerve to win the Tour Championship in Atlanta on Sunday, the 80th PGA Tour title of his career and first since 2013 coming 17 months after a last-ditch bid to save his career with spinal fusion surgery.

Just five hours later, the 42-year-old was on a plane to Paris with his teammates ahead of this week's Ryder Cup, an event in which he has been on the winning side just once in seven attempts and which the United States have not won in Europe since 1993.

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Read more:

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Ryder Cup talking points: Can United States end European hoodoo?

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"The younger guys were on their way in when I was on my way out," Woods said. "You know, they had never really played against me when I was playing well. It's been, what, five years since I've won a golf tournament.

"I think that when my game is there, I feel like I've always been a tough person to beat. They have jokingly been saying that 'we want to go against you'. All right. Here you go.

"And we had a run at it and it was a blast because I had to beat Rory [McIlroy] head-up in the final group. Rosey [Justin Rose] was tied with Rory. Obviously I had a three-shot [lead], which is awfully nice, but still, I had not done it in five years.

"These guys had both ascended to number one players in the world, they have won major championships, they have won golf tournaments all around the world, and I have not really played a whole lot of golf the last few years."

Woods won just half a point from four matches on his last appearance at Medinah in 2012 and his level of commitment to a team event rather than individual glory has often been questioned.

Asked during the 2002 American Express World Championship in Ireland why he rated that event more important than the following week's Ryder Cup, Woods famously replied: "I can think of a million reasons," a reference to the first prize on offer at Mount Juliet.

Speaking at Le Golf National about his record in the biennial contest between Europe and the United States, Woods admitted: "It's certainly not something that I have really enjoyed and I've really liked seeing.

"I've played a lot of the matches. Of those seven previous Ryder Cups, I've sat out one session, and that was at Medinah. Otherwise, I've played every single match.

"But my overall Ryder Cup record - not having won as a player since 1999 - is something that hopefully we can change. We haven't won as a US squad in 25 years on foreign soil, so hopefully that will change this week, as well."