Woods became only the second playing-captain to lift the biennial matchplay trophy after Hale Irwin in the inaugural Presidents Cup in 1994, juggling both roles seamlessly.
The 43-year-old won all three matches he played, skipping only the Saturday fourballs and foursomes to focus solely on his captaincy duties.
Competing in his ninth Presidents Cup, Woods said it was an emotional moment when he realised all the hard work had paid off as his team edged Ernie Els’ Internationals 16-14 at Royal Melbourne after a stirring comeback.
“I’ve been a part of teams before where we have won. Also been a part of, unfortunately, this Presidents Cup when we lost 21 years ago,” he said, referring to the US team’s only defeat in 1998, also in Melbourne.
“So to come here and to do it in this fashion, to do it with this team, in particular, it was an honour for me as a player and even more of an honour to be their captain.
“I’ve cried in pretty much every Cup we’ve won,” he added.
“I’ve been doing this a long time. Any time you have moments where you’re able to do something that is bigger than us as an individual, is so much more meaningful and so much more special.”
Woods went out first in the singles matches Sunday and once more led from the front, beating battling Mexican Abraham Ancer 3 and 2 as his team began to reel in the Internationals’ 10-8 overnight lead.
In doing so he passed Phil Mickelson to become the most successful Presidents Cup golfer in history with a 27-15-1 win-loss-tie record to his countryman’s 26-16-13.
Woods was keen to deflect attention from himself, insisting it was team effort despite his individual exploits.
“We did it together. We came here as a team. My teammates and my boys all played well,” he said.
“The (vice) captains did an amazing job of just being there for every little detail,” he added, referring to Fred Couples, Zach Johnson and Steve Stricker.
“I couldn’t have done it without all their help and all my boys. They did it.”
© Agence France-Presse