Tiger Woods made a beeline for his girlfriend after his historic comeback win on Sunday night.
As the crowd cheered the former World Number One for his Tour Championship victory, he rushed over to the side of 18th green and found his restaurant manager flame Erica Herman, 33.
The 42-year-old kissed her, hugged her and then whispered ‘I love you’ before he walked off into the mass of spectators.
It was his first victory in five years after a number of setbacks through injury and a controversy surrounding his DUI arrest in 2017.
There’s not doubt that Herman – who he has remained guarded abut their relationship since it was made public in September 2017 – has had a positive impact on the sportsman’s return to glory.
After his victory, Woods embraced his girlfriend, Erica Herman, who greeted him with a kiss
Herman, 33, and Woods exchanged ‘I love you’s and microphones picked it up for all to hear
He wasn’t shy about being affectionate with her in front of the cameras and cheering crowd at East Lake, Georgia.
Burying his head in her neck he can be heard saying as microphones followed them closely: ‘How about that? Mmmm… love you.’
Herman returned the sentiment before going in for a peck on the lips as the world watched.
His latest love was made evident a year a ago when she appeared at the Presidents Cup in New Jersey October 1, 2017 wearing a shirt given to wives and girlfriends.
Just two days later she was right beside him at court in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida as he pleaded guilty to a reckless driving charge resulting from police finding him falling asleep in an idling car.
The gallery at East Lake was enormous in anticipation of Woods winning for the first time in more than five years
Only when he was on the green, the last one to putt after Rory McIlroy tapped in for birdie, did it start to sink in. ‘All of a sudden it hit me that I was going to win the tournament. I started tearing up a little bit,’ Woods said
Woods led throughout the final round and finished at 11-under-par 269 at East Lake, where he carded a closing 71 for his 80th PGA Tour victory
Herman was spotted wearing a shift given to wives and girlfriends at the Presidents Cup last October
Herman and Woods showed they were together at the Presidents Cup last October
The duo matched in Dodgers gear as they stepped out in Los Angeles last year
Herman worked as general manager at his restaurant, The Woods Jupiter until February this year and supported him in court last October
Woods has come a long way since his May 2017 arrest for driving under the influence. He is seen above being arrested by Palm Beach County Sheriff’s deputies in Florida
The state is where Herman worked as general manager at his restaurant, The Woods Jupiter until February this year.
Later that month they donned matching Dodgers jerseys at the second game of the World Series in Los Angeles.
Although spectators may not have noticed it at the time, Herman had actually been with Woods and his children as they watched the New York US Open Men’s Singles Semi-Finals and Final in September last year.
In December it was clear she was becoming close to Woods’ kids with ex-wife Elin Nordegren as she spent time with daughter Sam, 11, and son Charlie, nine, on a beach in the Bahamas.
Herman joined Woods and his children at the US Open in September 2017
Herman also enjoyed time in the Bahamas with Woods’ daughter Sam, 11, and son Charlie, nine last December
In July this year, the pair showed they were still going strong as they appeared at Wimbledon to watch the tennis.
Woods was publicly shamed when stories emerged of him cheating on his spouse of six years with numerous women.
They split in 2010 and he dated Olympic medalist Lindsey Vonn from 2012 to 2015.
He has also dated stylist Kristin Smith from November 2016 – who used to be married to Dallas Cowboys NFL star Gerald Sensabaugh – but they split in 2017 after The Sun reports the mom of little boy Isiah was understood to have believed he was unfaithful to her.
Herman (center in a black dress and red cap) posed near the 18th green during the final round of the Quicken Loans National at TPC Potomac on July 1, 2018 in Potomac, Maryland
Woods and Herman attended Wimbledon together in July 2018
The former World Number One roared to victory at the FedEx Tour Championships on Sunday and a huge crowd ran up the fairway and swamped the 18th green in frantic scenes in a bid to watch Woods sink the last putt of his round, and end his title drought.
Woods, who has battled back from a crippling back injury, had four back surgeries, and dealt with the backlash from his DUI arrest, tapped his ball in from a few feet to secure the long-awaited victory and $10million prize.
He started out with a three-shot lead, and it took only four holes for him to stretch the lead to five over Justin Rose.
Woods (pictured in 2009 with daughter Sam) was married to Elin Nordegren (seen right) from 2004 until 2010, and the huge fallout from his cheating scandal
Woods (pictured in 2014) dated Olympic medalist Lindsey Vonn from 2012 until 2015
He is pictured with Kristin Smith in July 2017. They started dating in 2016 but didn’t last long
‘It was a grind out there,’ Woods said during the trophy presentation. ‘I loved every bit of it.’
Woods was popular as ever despite struggling to get back to usual form after taking a year off in 2009 and tumbling to as low as 876th in the world rankings at one point.
‘I didn’t want to get run over,’ Woods said with a laugh.
Only when he was on the green, the last one to putt after Rory McIlroy tapped in for birdie, did it start to sink in that he could claim the prize.
‘All of a sudden it hit me that I was going to win the tournament. I started tearing up a little bit,’ Woods said. ‘I can’t believe I pulled this off.’
He paused as his voice started to crack.
TIGER WOODS TIMELINE SINCE 2013, WHEN HE WON HIS LAST VICTORY ON THE PGA TOUR
Woods is seen above holding the trophy after winning the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational golf tournament in Akron, Ohio on August 4, 2013. It would take him five years to win another tournament
2013 – Captures his 79th PGA Tour title at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in August.
2014 – A week before the Masters in April, Woods announces that he requires back surgery, forcing him to miss the year´s opening major for the first time since 1994.
He returned to competition in June but struggled on with back pain.
2015 – Posts the worst score of his professional career in June, a 13-over-par 85 in the third round of the Memorial tournament in Ohio.
2015 – Woods has a second microdiscectomy performed in September with a follow-up procedure six weeks later, forcing him to shut down his playing schedule indefinitely.
2016 – In April, he plays his first stretch of holes in eight months at a golf course opening in Montgomery, Texas.
2016 – Misses all four major championships in a season for the first time in his career.
In May 2017, Woods was arrested by Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office deputies in Palm Beach, Florida
2016 – In September announces that he hopes to make his competitive return to golf at the PGA Tour´s Oct. 13-16 Safeway Open in Napa, California.
2016 – Three days before the start of the Safeway Open, pulls out, saying his game is not sharp enough to compete at the highest level.
2017 – Woods ends 17 months on the sidelines by playing the Farmers Insurance Open, where he misses the cut.
The following week he pulls out of the European Tour’s Dubai Desert Classic before the second round, citing back spasms.
2017 – Undergoes lumbar fusion surgery in April. The procedure involves fusing two vertebrae in his lower back into a single structure.
2017 – Arrested after being found asleep at the wheel of his parked car in Florida in May.
Toxicology report reveals he had five drugs in his system, but no alcohol.
2017 – Woods returns to competition in November at the unofficial World Challenge, finishing equal ninth in the 18-man field.
2018 – After being among the title contenders at several tournaments during the season, Woods ends his five-year barren run by clinching the Tour Championship, his 80th PGA Tour victory, leaving him two shy of the all-time mark held by Sam Snead.