Tiger Woods wins 2019 US Masters in stunning comeback
Sunday - 14/04/2019 17:10
Tiger Woods has completed one of the greatest comebacks in sports history by winning the 2019 Masters, prompting emotional scenes.
Fallen hero, crippled star, and now a Masters champion again.
Tiger Woods rallied to win the Masters for the fifth time on Monday morning (AEST), a comeback that goes well beyond the two-shot deficit he erased before a delirious audience that watched memories turn into reality at Augusta National.
Woods had gone nearly 11 years since he won his last major, 14 years since that green jacket was slipped over his red shirt. He made it worth the wait, closing with a 2-under 70 for a one-shot victory and setting off a scene of raw emotion.
He scooped up Charlie, 10, born a year after Woods won his 14th major at Torrey Pines in the 2008 US Open.
He hugged his mother and then his daughter Sam, 11, and everyone else in his camp that stood by him through a public divorce, an embarrassing DUI arrest from a concoction of painkillers and four back surgeries, the most recent one just two years ago to fuse his lower spine.
“WOOOOOOO!!!” Woods screamed as he headed for the scoring room with chants of “Tiger! Tiger! Tiger” echoing as loud as any of the roars on the back nine at Augusta National.
“It’s overwhelming, just because of what has transpired,” Woods said in Butler Cabin. “I’m at a loss for words really.
“Last year I was lucky to be playing again. At the previous year’s dinner, I was really struggling. I missed a couple of years not playing this great tournament. To now be the champion … 22 years between wins is a long time. It’s unreal to experience this.”
Woods lost his impeccable image to a sex scandal, one of the swiftest and most shocking downfalls in sport.
He lost his health to four back surgeries that left him unable to get out of bed, much less swing a club, and he went two years without even playing a major. It was two years ago at the Masters when Woods said he needed a nerve block just to walk to the Champions Dinner. At that time, he thought his career was over. Now the comeback is truly complete.
He wrapped his arms around his father when he won his first green jacket in 1997, changing the world of golf. “Now I’m the dad with two kids there,” he said.
He wanted his children to see him win, once saying they saw him only as a YouTube legend. They were at the British Open when he had the lead briefly. They couldn’t make it to East Lake last September, when he won the Tour Championship for his first victory in five years.
“I wasn’t going to let that happen to them twice,” he said. “To let them see what it’s like to have their dad win a major championship, I hope it’s something they’ll never forget.”
Woods won his 15th major, three short of the standard set by Jack Nicklaus. It was his 81st victory on the PGA Tour, one title away from the career record held by Sam Snead.
WORLD REACTS TO TIGER’S TRIUMPH
The world was quick to shower Woods with praise for his incredible victory. Nicklaus, whose major-winning record Woods must now have in his sights, and tennis legend Serena Williams both took to Twitter to reflect on the stunning performance at Augusta.
So too did NBA icon Magic Johnson and NFL grat Tom Brady.