World No.17 Casey shot a closing six-under par 65 to finish at 10 under 274 to win on the Copperhead course.
The comeback kid, with 14 major titles to his name, but none since 2008, couldn't quite complete the storybook finish, but four quality rounds of golf, and his best finish since a tie for second in the FedEx Cup playoff opener back in 2013 - the past year he won a tournament on the PGA Tour - showed that point may not be far away. "I had a chance today".
"It's going to be good for me to get back", Woods told reporters. Missed a short one there on 4 for par. "I don't know a lot about him". I over did it.
Tiger Woods is back! An 80th PGA Tour did not seem possible, certainly not now.
"It feels good to be up here", Woods said. Both McDowell and Lowry - as well as Woods - head on to this week's Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill.
Woods' putt shows just how interesting he makes the game of golf, and the hype is still there for the legend after all of this time. I imagine he'll sleep just fine tonight knowing that Tiger will have to wait another week. I actually thought he was going to win today before the round started.
A highly charged PGA Tour event ended with one player ending a long victory drought, just not the one most fans came to see.
"I've played myself right there into contention so it should be a fun Sunday", Woods said. So I felt very comfortable.
Serena Williams Confirms Her Official Comeback to Tennis
So much so that Williams" six-month-old daughter Olympia "thinks' Azarenka's son Leo, born in December 2016, is her boyfriend. That, and the chance to stick it to those who've tried to put her and her fellow females down all her life.
He just didn't do enough Sunday. Victory on Sunday would bring him within two of all-time leader Sam Snead.
Casey needed just 21 putts while Woods struggled to get his iron approach shots close and his putter was largely cold, except for a curling 45-foot birdie putt on the 17th which raised hopes of a playoff before he left his birdie putt short on the last.
Woods missed a 38-foot birdie on the 72nd hole, and Casey took the trophy from the clubhouse. He needed 32 putts after hitting 14 of 18 greens.
But to nitpick his statistics is missing the overall picture.
Right from the start, Woods was serenaded with shouts of "We love you, Tiger!" and "C'mon Big Cat!"
"I can confirm he's back".
But all eyes are on 14-times major victor Woods, in just his fourth official start since spinal fusion surgery - his fourth back surgery - last April.
And it felt like it always did as he came up the 18th hole, 185 yards away, needing a birdie to tie Casey.
Okay - perhaps that sounds a little overdramatic, but it's also pretty accurate.