He finished at a tie for second place behind Paul Casey, who finished one shot better at ten-under par.
NBC's overnight rating of 5.11 was a 190 percent increase over last year's final round of the Valspar, and the highest rating since Woods' win at the 2013 Players Championship (5.7).
Still, finishing joint second with Patrick Reed at nine-under 275 at the Copperhead course at Innisbrook Resort will further fuel belief that the 14-times major champion is back in business. Woods, searching for his first PGA Tour win since 2013, started the day a shot back... He was 10-under through 17, but dropped out of playoff contention with a shocking bogey at the last, where his first putt failed to make it to the upper tier of the green where the pin was located.
But Woods, a bit off in his iron control on Sunday, left his approach 39 feet short of the cup and his two-putt gave him a closing one-under 70. "As a whole, I felt very good about what I did this week". It was the closest Woods has come to winning in almost five years. As I was telling you guys yesterday, I had really some nice building blocks at Honda (where he tied for 12th two weeks ago) and I've had a few tweaks for this week and it paid off.
Woods didn't find another birdie until the 17th, where he drained a putt of nearly 45 feet to close within one stroke of Casey's clubhouse lead and send his massive gallery into a frenzy.
But Woods could not replicate the magic at the par-four 18th, where he missed a hard 40-foot birdie putt that would have forced a playoff with Casey at the Innisbrook Resort. Woods was 16-1 before the Valspar, the network said.
A three-time Ryder Cup player for Europe, his only previous U.S. tour title came at the 2009 Houston Open.
"I hit the ball well, made some putts this week and the thing that I was the most happy about is when I did miss, I missed on the correct side and that's what we have to do out here", Woods added.
Spain's Sergio Garcia put in an encouraging performance as he warms up for the defense of his Masters title, firing a final round 65 to finish alone in fourth on eight-under 276.