Only two other players - Rory Sabbatini and K.J. Choi - have a mathematical chance.
"Winning takes care of everything," Woods said, whose best is a runner-up at East Lake.
All that mattered at the moment was winning at Cog Hill for the fourth time. It was Woods' sixth victory of the year, and the $1.26 million pushed him over $9 million for the fourth time in his career.
The biggest mystery about the Tour Championship is the course on which they play.
The tour left a two-page notice on players' lockers Sunday morning saying that record heat has severely damaged the greens at East Lake, forcing officials to cancel the pro-am round Wednesday and ban players from so much as setting foot on the greens until the first round on Thursday.
Stewart Cink, Tim Clark and Camilo Villegas all finished in the top 10 and earned enough points to move into the top 30 in the playoff standings and qualify for the Tour Championship.
The 30th spot went to British Open champion Padraig Harrington, who took this week off to recharge and was prepared to play a European tour event if he got bumped out. Luke Donald tried to recover from a 76 in the opening round, but his bogey-free 65 on Sunday left him two shots away from the points he needed to finish 30th.
Also getting knocked out of the top 30 were Jerry Kelly and Aaron Oberholser, who withdrew with hand and wrist injuries and said he would not have been able to play the Tour Championship even if he had made it.
It was the third straight week of compelling golf, a three-man race at sunny Cog Hill that was up for grabs until Wood seized control with his 50-foot birdie on the 12th, and a 20-foot birdie on the 16th that swirled around the cup before falling.
"When he made that putt across the par 3, suddenly you could just see he was into another gear," said Justin Rose, who played with Woods in the final round. "His focus was at a different level."
With his wife, Elin, following along outside the ropes, Woods ran off three straight birdies at the turn to shoot 32, but all that did was help him keep pace with Stricker and Baddeley.
Stricker, the hometown favorite who played at Illinois and grew up across the border in Wisconsin, made four straight birdies through the 10th hole to become the first to reach 19 under, giving him a one-shot lead over Baddeley.
Baddeley caught him on the 11th with a long bunker shot over a crook in the green to 6 feet for birdie.
Woods was in the group ahead and losing steam. He had to work for par on the easy 10th, and he had to settle for par when his chip from right of the green on the par-5 11th ran 15 feet away. His tee shot on the par-3 12th wasn't much better, and Woods hung his head and walked toward the green as it was still in flight.
But on a day of wild cheers, the loudest came on his 50-foot putt that dropped for birdie. He followed that with a 12-foot birdie on the next hole for a lead he never surrendered.
Woods also shot 63 in the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship last year. And while he is known as the best closer in golf, it was his fourth victory this year when starting the final round from behind.