Sunday’s wild crowd scenes in Atlanta were a flashback to the turn of the Millennium when Woods was the biggest sports star on the planet.
These are different times but Woods, wearing his trademark red, held on to final-round lead to lift a trophy just like the old days for his first win since 2013.
Much has happened since, including four back surgeries and his arrest for driving under the influence of painkillers in May last year which showed the world a champion at his lowest. But Woods flew into France on Monday restored to greatness.
The win flashed around the globe and his hope is that his 80th PGA Tour victory will also have made a positive impact on his children, 11-year-old Sam and Charlie, nine.
“I think they understand a little bit of what dad does now,” said Woods, who has risen from No666 in the world rankings to No13 this year.
“I hadn’t won any tournaments in which they can remember, so this will be a little bit different for them. To be able to have shared what I did with them at The Open this year, I had a chance, I had the lead.
“They felt it, that atmosphere. They felt it, and they know what their dad can do on a golf course now.
“It’s not what I used to be able to do. A lot of times they equated golf to pain because every time I did it, I would hurt, and it would cause me more pain.
Tiger Woods is grateful just to be back on the course
Just to be able to compete and play again this year – that’s a hell of a comeback
“And so now they’re seeing a little bit of joy and seeing how much fun it is for me to be able to do this again.”
Woods won his first Major by 12 shots and won his last on one leg at the 2008 US Open. But this Tour Championship triumph ranks right up there in his lengthy list of achievements in terms of public response.
Playing partner Rory McIlroy likened Woods’s chaotic victory march up the final fairway with fans spilling onto the Atlanta course chanting Woods’s name to Jack Nicklaus’s 1980 US Open win at Baltusrol.
“I said, ‘Yeah, I just don’t have the tight pants and the hair’,” said Woods.
Tiger Woods won the Tour Championship by two shots
“I guess it’s different now because the art of clapping is gone, right? You can’t clap when you’ve got a cell phone in your hand. So people yell, and they were yelling – they’re going to be hoarse.
“The fans and the commotion was similar to 1997 at the Western Open coming down the last hole. That was a little bit like that. But not to this fevered pitch.”
Woods, a stone-cold killer on the course in his first incarnation, admitted he was fighting back tears on the final green as he closed out a two-shot win.
“I was pretty emotional when Rory was finishing out. I looked around and the tournament was over because I’d already put the bunker shot on the green and I’d won No80. Eighty is a big number.
“I’ve been sitting on 79 for about five years now, and to get 80 is a pretty damned good feeling. It means a lot more to me now in the sense because I didn’t know if I’d ever be out here again playing.
“Just to be able to compete and play again this year – that’s a hell of a comeback. I was beyond playing. I couldn’t sit. I couldn’t walk. I couldn’t lay down without feeling the pain in my back and my leg. That was a pretty low point for a very long time.
“Forget the elite level. Just to be able to play golf again and enjoy being with my kids and live that life was a joy. And then lo and behold, I’m able to do this and win a golf tournament.”
Tiger Woods arrived in Paris today ahead of the Ryder Cup
His physical frailties and fatherhood seem to have changed Woods the man for the better more than his first comeback after his tumultuous marriage break-up. And worryingly for Europe in Ryder Cup week, the new Tiger is also more of a team player.
The possibility of the end of his career brought perspective and his involvement as assistant captain at the 2016 Ryder Cup with a new generation of American players a more selfless outlook.
“These guys didn’t really play against me when I was younger; these guys grew up watching a lot of what I did. It’s a little bit different,” he said.