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.
"I really didn't feel like I was that far off, that's the insane part", said Woods, who is playing for the first time in 10 months following a fourth back surgery.
"I've got to keep fighting and that is one thing I have always done in my entire career". He picked up six birdies for the day's best card of two-under 70 to take a massive five-shot lead into the final round on Sunday.
"Anything that I did right ended up in a bad spot, and then anything I did wrong it was really bad", Woods said. For whatever reason, I find myself really enjoying this comeback. "When you're out for this duration of time, it's very different to be out here like this and try to post a number".
"It feels good to be out here fighting again", he said. "I don't know what my schedule's going to be, but my expectations are we'll be playing next year".
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The day after a bogey-filled front nine, Woods showed flashes of his old self with three birdies and an eagle to make the turn at five-under 31.
Breezy conditions made sub-par rounds hard at the Albany course with overnight leader Hoffman one of the few to deliver, surging to a five-stroke lead after a birdie at 18 for a two-under 70 and a 202 total.
Tommy Fleetwood and Jordan Spieth finished in a tie for third place on 12 under.
"At that time, I had already played four par 5s and nothing happened".
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.