"So I'm excited about having this end-of-the-year run where I'm feeling much more fit and I don't have the achiness that I've been dealing with for the last couple of years".
Woods said Monday that his knee bothered him throughout the 2019 season, which he started with memorable win at the Masters but ended with a string of noncompetitive finishes.
It was all part of the money game between would-be victor Jason Day, Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and home favourite Hideki Matsuyama in what was a light-hearted way to build up to the Zozo Championship at the Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club this weekend, when Japan will be at the centre of two sporting worlds.
Turning to Woods after receiving the trophy, Day asked how many similar events Woods had played in.
Day won eight skins and $210,000.
It was Woods' first event after surgery two months ago, the fifth on his left knee.More news: Two arrested over racism that forced FA Cup match abandonment
Woods and everyone else laughed, which captured the lighthearted day at the Narashino Country Club, where the made-for-TV skins game finished under floodlights on the 17th and 18th holes.
"I did not play well at the beginning", he said.
'It was good fun, there were probably a few holes out there where during the tournament (ZOZO Championship) this week we probably won't use a driver but it was good to get a driver in the hands and have a hit, and have a bit of fun. Two weeks later he was hitting full shots and has been playing rounds of golf the past two weeks. "We were competitive, the banter was great, the back and forth".
But it was that man Day who held his nerve again, making birdie before watching Woods miss his attempt despite McIlroy and Matsuyama urging him on in the hope of going to a 19th hole.
"It was just great to be part of something like this, " McIlroy said.
"I'll be grateful for all the support from the fans in Japan, but with the popularity of Tiger, Rory and Jason, I know they'll also be strongly supported wherever they play". A hole will be cut in each and players will choose which to play to.More news: Boris Johnson battles to save Brexit deal
Woods was partnered with England hero Mike Tindall, McIlroy formed a duo with Irish legend Brian O'Driscoll and former South Africa star Bryan Habana played alongside local favourite Matsuyama. Four of the best players in the world playing a hole with one club.
Rather, the former Ireland captain, a nine-handicapper, found the green with a well-struck tee-shot and rolled in the birdie putt to help Rory tie the hole. But I screwed up by winning the Tour Championship [in September 2018], and I thought I could keep it rolling.
McIlroy last won a major in 2014 at the PGA Championship.
'With the way the course was set up, we could fire at some pins, ' McIlroy said.
"It's one of the reasons we were planning on doing it a year ago. The victor is going to be the guy who best executes an aggressive strategy on every hole, so there's going to be plenty of twists and turns throughout the competition". "I did not come out strong".More news: Lionel Messi Responds To Barca's Life-Time Contract Offer