Tiger Woods showed no signs of the tight Achilles tendon that bothered him at Doral.
Tiger Woods hit so many great shots that he couldn’t single one out as the best. Winning was as sweet as ever, even after a PGA Tour drought that stretched over 923 days and 27 tournaments.
The best part about posing with the trophy at Bay Hill?
The conversation was back on golf, his favorite subject.
Just two weeks ago, Woods gingerly climbed into a golf cart and was taken off the golf course at Doral with soreness and swelling in his left Achilles tendon, the same injury that caused him to miss three months and two majors last year.
On Sunday, no one questioned his health. Woods marched to a five-shot victory in the Arnold Palmer Invitational that restored his confidence and gave him momentum going into the Masters two weeks away.
“This was coming,” Woods said. “I’ve been close a number of times, basically since Australia. Just had to stay the course.”
Only a month ago, there were concerns that Woods could no longer make the important putts.
He had missed a 5-foot birdie putt on the last hole to lose in the second round at the Match Play Championship. He missed several putts just as close when he crashed out in the final round at Pebble Beach. But there he was at Bay Hill, knocking in two big par putts on the back nine to keep his distance from Graeme McDowell.
“I just never got close to him,” McDowell said.
And then there’s the book by his ex-swing coach, Hank Haney. “The Big Miss,” which goes on sale Tuesday, has been such a sore spot with Woods that he lost his cool with a reporter earlier this month. The book reveals a driven player who is self-centered and rarely satisfied, no big surprise except that it was a side of Woods he tried to keep private for all these years.
Woods added a chapter to his own book Sunday.
He won for the 72nd time on the PGA Tour—one short of Jack Nicklaus in second place on the career list—and 84th time worldwide. It was the 16th time he won by at least five shots, and his seventh win at Bay Hill tied the PGA Tour for most wins on a single golf course. Woods owns both marks. He also has won seven times at Firestone.