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Tiger talks of 'unbelievable grind' after picking up FedEx Cup and $10m bonus; GOLF.

Byline: SIMONLEWIS,PASPORT

Tiger Woods pocketed $10 million at the weekend and claimed it was a just reward for an "unbelievable grind" at the end of a six-win year.

Woods was crowned 2009 FedEx Cup champion after finishing second behind Phil Mickelson at the Tour Championship in Atlanta, Georgia, his consistency over the year being rewarded with the massive bonus.

It was the world No.1's second victory in the three-year history of the FedEx Cup, having missed last year's play-off series at the end of the PGA Tour season due to reconstructive knee surgery.

Returning to the game in February after an eight-month lay-off, Woods won six times, with his most recent win - by eight shots at Cog Hill in Chicago at the BMW Championship two weeks ago - taking him to the top of the FedEx Cup standings.

Having held on to that lead at East Lake Golf Club at the weekend, Woods said: "It's been an unbelievable grind. I was criticised at the beginning of the year for not playing enough but I didn't want to hurt myself at the beginning of the season.

"I was coming back from reconstructive knee surgery. The last thing I wanted to do was stretch out the ligament and have the surgery all for naught.

"I didn't do that. I got better and more healthy and more explosive as the year went on, and I was able to finish off these events because of how I managed my year. It was a long stretch to play this much golf."

In the past nine weeks, Woods has won three times and finished second three times in seven events, claiming a tie for 11th in the other, and he admitted the effort had taken its toll.

"There are days when you are a little bit flat, and you still have to get yourself up to play," he said.

"The mental grind certainly is there because you're there in contention a lot, and that adds to how tired you become, and then you do it week in and week out and week in and week out, and it adds to it."

Woods said he took great satisfaction from having learned how to deal with those low moments and still emerge with successful results.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Sep 29, 2009
Words:378
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