Tiger Woods breaks five-year title drought

American golfer Tiger Woods has won the Tour Championship in Atlanta, his first victory in five years.

The 14-times major winner took a three shot lead into today's final round and carded a one over par 67 to finish on 11 under for the tournament and seal a two stroke victory over compatriot Billy Horschel.

It's 42-year-old Wood's 80th PGA Tour victory and first since 2013.

The victory moves him to second on the all-time PGA winners list behind Sam Snead (82).

Woods spent 10 months on the sidelines last year while recovering from spinal fusion surgery and only started to make full golf swings in mid-October.

He returned to the US PGA Tour in January, and until today had racked up two runner-up results among six top 10s and 11 top 25s this season.

He came into the final day of the tournament - the last of four FedEx Cup play-off events - with a three-shot lead over England's world number one Justin Rose and Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy, who faded from contention with a four-over 74 to finish on five under in tied seventh.

Woods birdied his first hole - one of two birdies and three bogeys - with his place at the top of the leaderboard in little danger during the final round.

"I was having a hard time not crying coming up the last hole," Woods said in a greenside interview.

"It was just a ground out there. I loved every bit of it, the fight, the grind, the tough conditions.

"You just had to suck it up and hit shots."

The victory capped off a season that started with questions over whether the 42-year-old would even be able to play a full schedule after undergoing spinal fusion surgery in April 2017.

"My body was a wreck," recalled Woods, who hoped the surgery would alleviate debilitating back and leg pain.

But the surgery proved successful beyond his wildest dreams.

"Beginning of the year, that was a tall order (expecting to win) but as the year progressed I proved I could play," he said.

"I found a swing, put the pieces together and knew I could do it again."

Englishman Justin Rose finished fourth to win the 15 million dollar bonus as the season long points race winner.

"It was a bit of a slow death out there for me today. It was a totally different vibe," said Rose, who two weeks ago ascended to world No.1 at age 38.

"It was the weirdest day. Obviously plan A was to try to win the tournament and plan B was to do enough to win the FedExCup.

"I knew what the scenarios were. It was such a grind. Mid-round I felt I was frittering it away. Not until I felt I had given it away did I calm down and regroup.

"I clicked into a decent gear and got the job done. It wasn't pretty but it was enough."