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The world number nine birdied his first seven holes and won the elite event by four strokes thanks to a course record 11-under par 61 that left him at 18-under 270 for the tournament.

Hoffman countered two bogeys and a double-bogey with six birdies in a two-under 70 and a 14-under total of 202. He was right in it after two rounds, but a Saturday 75 dropped him well back of the lead, and Rickie Fowler has spent Sunday birdying literally all the damn holes, so Tiger is out of it.

"I showed some good signs", Woods told NBC after finishing the event at eight-under 280. On 3, I smashed a drive down there and then hit a 2-iron about 265 into the wind, I just hit it on a rope, put it up there on the green.

That was especially important to the 41-year-old, who once dominated the sport. "It's pretty cool", he said.

"When I was struggling with my back, the world seemed very small".

"It felt great because I don't want to lose shots", he said.

Woods, who is playing for the first time since February, was in trouble from the opening hole, hitting his tee shot at the first into the sand bordering the fairway.

He and his team will now sit down to determine how best to build his 2018 schedule for major championships. I wasn't sure he would play golf again, now I watched him play and think "my gosh".

Fowler made birdies in a variety of ways Sunday, holing out from the bunker and draining long putts.

Although the birdie run eventually came to a halt with a two-putt par at the eighth, Fowler added another at the ninth to reach the turn in 28 and pick up three more over his back nine.

Though not an official PGA Tour event, the Hero World Challenge annually boasts an impressive limited field.

American Jordan Spieth (72) and England's Justin Rose (71) were tied for second five shots back.