ATLANTA -- It was a curious scene on the 18th green at East Lake Golf Club late Sunday afternoon.
There was Phil Mickelson smiling, accepting his trophy for winning the Tour Championship by three strokes over Tiger Woods, completing a personal and competitive comeback from a difficult summer.
And there was Woods, holding his second FedEx Cup championship trophy, $10million richer for his work over the course of the season and, particularly in the four-event playoff format that ended Sunday.
Woods has always judged his performance by the trophies he's claimed which made Sunday problematic. He had his second big silver FedEx Cup and knew there would be a $9-million cash deposit arriving in his bank account soon (the other $1 million is deferred).
But Mickelson had the crystal trophy for winning the Tour Championship.
Even Woods wasn't sure how he felt.
"I'm sure I'll be more happy (Monday) than I am now," Woods said as the sun set across East Lake.
Woods started the final round two strokes behind third-round leader Kenny Perry and was four behind after three holes. It was Mickelson, though, who seized the day with his brilliant final-round 65 while Perry fell away and Woods couldn't create any magic until it was too late.
Though they finished first and second in the complicated FedEx Cup points system, the difference between Woods and Mickelson in the four playoff events explained why he won the overall championship.
In the four events, Woods finished tied for second, tied for 11th, first and second. Mickelson, who only a week ago solved his putting inconsistency with help from Dave Stockton, finished tied for 52nd, tied for 27th and tied for 30th before winning at East Lake.
At one point Sunday, Woods had lost the projected points battle to Steve Stricker. At another point, the possibility of a tie between Stricker and Woods and a $10-million playoff loomed. Ultimately, birdies at the 15th and 16th holes sealed the FedEx Cup for Woods.
"To win the FedEx Cup and be as consistent as I have been all year is something I'm proud of," Woods said. "There's so many unknowns at the beginning of the season...I think (I had) nine top-two (finishes). I wouldn't have expected going into my first event to end up where I'm at right now."