Tiger Woods won the inaugural Zozo Championship in Chiba, Japan, on Monday to equal Sam Snead’s official PGA Tour career record of 82 victories, which Snead earned in 425 starts. Woods tied Snead in his 359th career start, which means he has won roughly every fourth time that he has teed it up on the tour.
Woods claimed his first title in his second full month as a professional, at the 1996 Las Vegas Invitational. His record-tying win came in his first start of his 24th season, and followed a nine-week, injury-induced layoff. Snead strung together his titles from 1936 to 1965. He recorded the last of his victories two months short of his 53rd birthday.
Woods, who will turn 44 in two months, took a three-stroke lead into the final round at Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club. He had never lost the previous 24 times he led by at least three strokes after 54 holes.
It was Woods’s second victory of the calendar year. He won the Masters in April for his 15th major championship. But he made only six competitive appearances the rest of the 2018-19 wraparound season, and finished inside the top 10 in just one of those starts. He withdrew after the first round of his penultimate start of last season, in the Northern Trust, citing a strained oblique.
On Aug. 20, Woods underwent surgery to repair what he described as minor cartilage damage in his left knee. Sixty-eight days later, he drew even with Snead after a wire-to-wire victory.
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