Tiger Woods’ fifth Masters victory on Sunday may have been one of the greatest individual achievements in sporting history, but he seemed more interested in sharing it with everyone around him.
Watching an ecstatic Woods celebrate his 15th major victory at Augusta National on Sunday by rushing over to hug his two children is a special moment most fans won’t soon forget.
It seemed to underline just how far Woods had come since his days of golfing dominance in the late 90s and early 2000s.
Older, wiser, more bruised and battered certainly – but also so much more appreciative and joyful in victory than he ever was before.
During his glory years, there was a sense of inevitability and individual dominance when Woods sank a winning putt. This time around, there was a palpable sense of joy and relief, and of wanting to share the win with everyone around him.
I can’t thank my family, friends and fans enough for their support. Having my family by my side today is something I will never forget. To not only be able to play again, but to be able to win again, is something I will forever be grateful for. This jacket sure is comfortable. pic.twitter.com/LsOUX2dWH1
— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) April 14, 2019
It was impossible not to be happy for Woods, as his incredible story of triumph over adversity played out in front of our eyes.
“It’s special to me, to my friends and family,” Woods said. “And I think everyone who was here got a chance to witness something that was amazing.”
And of having daughter Sam Alexis, 11, and son Charlie, 10, there to celebrate the win with him?
“For them to see what it’s like to have their dad win a major championship, I hope that’s something they will never forget,” Woods said. “I hope they are proud of their dad.
“The kids are starting to understand how much golf means to me and some of the things I’ve done in the game.
“Prior to comeback, they only knew golf caused me a lot of pain. If I tried to swing a club I would be on the ground and struggled for years and that’s basically all they remember.
“Luckily I’ve had the procedure where that’s no longer the case. We’re creating new memories for them and it’s just very special.
— Masters Tournament (@TheMasters) April 15, 2019
“It means the world to me, their love and support,” Woods continued. “I just can’t say enough about how much that meant to me throughout my struggles when I had a really hard time moving around, just the infectousness of their happiness. I was going through a tough time physically.
“I was very fortunate to be given another chance to do something I love to do, but more importantly, I’ve been able to participate in my kids’ lives in a way that I couldn’t for a number of years.
“For a while there I couldn’t even walk. Now I’m able to play golf again and do it at an elite level. I’m just very blessed to be able to have that opportunity again.”
Of course, there was time to talk about his personal achievements too, although it seemed almost too big for Woods to wrap his head around.
“It hasn’t sunk in at all, he said. “This is one of those things, it’s going to take a little bit of time, and I’m just fresh off of just winning the tournament, and I just can’t wait to see how it all unfolded from the TV perspective, because I know I was grinding hard trying to chase Francesco today, and then all of a sudden the leaderboard flipped and there were a bunch of guys up there who had a chance to win.
“I hit some of the best shots on that back nine today. You know, I felt like I just flushed it coming home, which was a nice feeling.
“If you look at it, my first 14 wins in majors were always ‑‑ I had the lead in every one of them, or tied for the lead. To have the opportunity to come back like this, you know, it is probably one of the biggest wins I’ve ever had for sure because of it.
“It’s ironic that I’m given a chance to play golf again, and lo and behold, I won a tournament coming from behind, which I had not done for the first 14. So it’s just amazing.”
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