ATLANTA – Tiger Woods hit his tee-shot at No. 18 on Sunday evening early and started walking down the fairway when things got a bit became obsolete. Fans, coming from everywhere, swarmed behind one of the greatest golfers in history and someone who was about to make an unlikely comeback at the age of 42.
There was no control over this crowd during the Tour Championship, not with Woods marching to his first win in five years. A marshal had held a rope behind Woods to keep the crowd back, but he dropped it and was almost trampled when the crowd jumped forward. Suddenly, a few thousand fans bounced with joy behind Woods. "Tiger, Tiger, Tiger!" They chanted.
[Read: How Tiger Woods Won the Tour Championship, Shot by Shot]
Woods then hit his second shot on the 18th and walked to the green. The crowd also started its march. It was nothing less than a spectacle. The party-goers, some with beer bottles and many who held up their phones to take pictures, understood that this was not a moment to be missed. They then massively circled the green at the 18th hole of East Lake Golf Club and burst again when Woods ended his two-shot victory with a tap-in for par.
Golf & # 39; s public persona took a turn to the frenzied on Sunday when the sport celebrated the return of its biggest star.
The whole afternoon there were chants in the course of "Let's go, Tiger." It was in fact a ballad of salvation. the man was initially welcomed by his own faults and later by repeated injuries welcomed with open arms. It filled the fairways.
One man, who was on the first tee when Woods was prepared to start his last round with a three-stroke lead, said business: "I go to orphan like a small child here to him to shout. "
Woods went to Birdie the first hole, and the first" Tiger "roar went up. At the fourth hole the crowd stood five rows deep around the green when he putted.
The triumphant round of Woods on Sunday also allowed some fans to turn to their children and say: "See, this is the man I told you about."
"It is a great feeling to see him and have mine here with me to see him," said Monete Batts of Grayson, Ga. His sons, Prentice, 14, and Amari, 10, sat on the grass along the eighth channel.
Jerry Freeman stood along the eighth fairway with his 13-year-old son, Jerry Jr.
"People are rooting for him," Freeman said. "It is an American story of a comeback, he deserves the way back, it feels like the glory days of Tiger Woods here today."
Jonathan Leonard stood by the Freemans. When he was younger, he did not care much about playing golf, but he turned 20 years ago when Woods started to dominate.
"Consider how many people play golf because of him," Leonard said. "I play because of him, I'm glad he's back.This is good for golf."
Kevin Byrne of Dunwoody, Ga., Looked around at the crowd on the seventh green and said: "The Tiger effect is real."
Fans continued to come and come when Woods progressed through his round. David Provancha, a marshal, saw how a wave of people followed Woods from the third green to the fourth tee. "It's the biggest audience I've seen in the 10 years that I've been here," he said.
The passion for Woods on Sunday actually started when he walked to the driving range just after 1:00 PM. to prepare for his round. The crowd was already four times deep to see that Woods made practice shots.
And while his last round progressed, you did not see Woods as often as he heard him. Or rather, you heard the cheers and chants. While marshals asked for silence on one tee, fans stared at Woods on the hole at a distance of 100 meters. There was no silence.
According to some fans, Woods now seemed easier to identify than when he was younger and completely dominant on the golf course. All his struggles on the road and away have made him more human, they said, and ultimately more sympathetic despite the many mistakes he has made.
"We are all defective," said a fan, Sheila McDaniel of Snellville, Ga. "Not only he, we all."
"It seemed like he was always behind the next big win and never played golf," said another fan, Brenda Stultz of Lawrenceville, Ga., Waiting for Woods to fit the first hole .
But on Sunday he was sufficiently composed to maintain his considerable lead and win the tournament, to the delight of Stultz, McDaniel and the rest of the crowd. Woods was back. Everyone was right with the 18th hole.