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Tiger Woods wins FedEx Cup

Woods won for the 61st time in his career, at 31 making him the youngest player to reach that mark. That leaves him one victory shy of Arnold Palmer's 62 career victories.

Tiger Woods never paid much attention to the FedEx Cup until it was shining before him on a pedestal on the 18th green at East Lake Golf Club on Sunday.

He always thought his name would be the first engraved on the new trophy for the U.S. PGA Tour playoffs as long as he kept winning. There was never a doubt.

In his final event of another spectacular season, Woods closed with a 4-under 66 to shatter the tournament record and win the U.S. Tour Championship by eight shots for his second straight victory.

The only new twist? It was the first time Woods won two trophies at one tournament.

Along with earning $1.26 million (EUR 910,000) in cash for winning the U.S. Tour Championship for his seventh U.S. PGA Tour title of the year, Woods was a runaway winner of the FedEx Cup and the $10 million (EUR 7.2 million) that goes into a retirement account.

"I don't look at what the purse is or the prize money," Woods said. "You play. And when you play, you play to win, period. That's how my dad raised me, is you go out there and win. If you win, everything will take care of itself. You take great pride in what you do on the golf course, and when you're able to win events, that's when you can go home and be very proud of what you've done."

The only drama was whether he would break the 72-hole scoring record on the U.S. PGA Tour. With a late bogey, Woods had to settle for a 23-under 257, the lowest of his career, breaking the U.S. Tour Championship record by six shots.

Masters champion Zach Johnson (68) and Mark Calcavecchia (71) tied for second.

Steve Stricker and Phil Mickelson were the only other players with a realistic chance of capturing the FedEx Cup, and their hopes were gone by the weekend. Stricker closed with a 67 and tied for 17th to finish second in the FedEx Cup, worth $3 million (EUR 2.2 million) in retirement money.

Woods, however, made no secret of which trophy meant more.

"I think winning this week is pretty special," he said. "Winning the FedEx Cup is one thing, but I think as a player, you always want to win the Tour Championship. There's history involved, and the players who have won it ... these are basically the 30 hottest players for this year, and you know you're going to have your hands full coming into this week."

Woods ended the year with four victories in his last five starts, and now has won 15 times in his last 31 tour events over the last two years.

The FedEx Cup was created to put some sizzle into the final month of a shorter season, resetting a points system for the final four tournaments. Woods skipped the first one in New York, and he probably could have skipped another one.

"We had some great drama," Woods said of the inaugural FedEx Cup season. "In the end, it was a lot of fun for all of us."

There was no drama at East Lake, not with Woods hitting on all cylinders to wrap up another phenomenal year. Along with seven victories, his adjusted scoring average of 67.79 matches the U.S. PGA Tour record he set in 2000.

He has played his last five tournaments in 75-under par, and his victory at East Lake pushed his season earnings to $10,876,052 (EUR 7,847,000). That's just $29,114 (EUR 21,000) short of the tour record set by Vijay Singh in 2004, when he played 29 times. Woods played 16 events this year.

His primary objective is winning majors, and he already has 13 of those. The World Golf Championships were created in 1999, and he has won 14 of 25. The latest invention is the FedEx Cup, which changed nothing but Woods' bank account.