Tiger Woods admits he has been left exhausted by the "most rewarding" year of his golf career.

The American great surged back into contention on the PGA Tour in 2018, securing top-10 finishes at the last two majors of the season, before winning the Tour Championship – his first title since 2013 – and competing at the Ryder Cup.

But Woods tackled a packed schedule as the season reached its conclusion, bemoaning the heat that contributed to mental, physical and emotional exhaustion.

"I was not physically prepared to play that much golf at the end of the year," he told a news conference ahead of the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas. 

"I had taken days off here and there, tournaments off, to try to conserve energy and make sure my body was still good, but I ended up playing seven out of nine to end the year.

"And it's one of those years where it's never been this hot. Every single tournament was just stifling. It was hard for me to maintain my strength and my weight through all of that. I tend to lose a lot of weight when I play and that was one of the struggles.

"I was exhausted by the time I got to the Ryder Cup. I was worn out, mentally, physically and emotionally."

But Woods considered his 2018 efforts to be thoroughly worthwhile, saying: "It has been the most rewarding [year], because there was a point where I didn't know if I would ever do this again.

"Then I got myself into a point where, early on, I showed myself that I could win a golf tournament by finishing second at Tampa [Valspar Championship].

"I had the failures at Bay Hill [Arnold Palmer Invitational] and The Open Championship and the PGA [Championship], but I just felt like I was getting a little bit closer to it.

"You always hear me say that it's a process but, if you look at this entire year, it literally was a process. You saw me have flashes and then rework a few things here and there.

"Towards the end of the year, I just became more and more consistent as a tournament player again."