Tiger Woods won the Masters on Sunday, for the first time in 14 years. The victory also represents Woods’ 15th major win, with only three major championships separating him from the all-time record of 18 held by Jack Nicklaus.
The golf legend thought he was done with the game in 2017. While accepting the Ben Hogan Award, a recognition given to golfers who compete despite physical ailments.
I was done at that particular time. In order to actually come to the dinner, I had to get a nerve block just to be able to walk and come to the dinner. It meant so much to me to be part of the Masters and come to the Champions Diner. I didn’t want to miss it. It was tough and uncomfortable. I ended up going to England that night, saw a specialist there, [and] they recommended unfortunately for me the only way to get rid of the pain I was living in was to have the spinal fusion surgery. So I decided to go to Dr. Richard Guyer in Texas and had the surgery.
Woods, 43, is the second-oldest player to win the Masters. Jack Nicklaus won the tournament at the age of 46, in 1986.
REMINDER: IT'S OK TO CRY WHEN YOU'RE WATCHING SPORTS. pic.twitter.com/LmStF65EXg
— The Ringer (@ringer) April 14, 2019
THAT TIGER ROAR pic.twitter.com/fz4gSNVjaD
— Isaac (@WorldofIsaac) April 14, 2019
Tiger pulled away from the field late and finished 13-under. Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson and Xander Schauffele tied for second at 12-under.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) April 14, 2019
Woods is now a 5-time Masters champion only two years after telling friends that he was done with golf, and 11 years after winning his last major. The victory also had great personal meaning Tiger, this being the first time his son Charlie was able to see him win golf’s most coveted prize. Earl Woods, Tiger’s father, was able to see him win in 1997.
A side-by-side tweet of the father-son moments, 22 years apart, made the rounds on Twitter:
Father-son moments. pic.twitter.com/WpsLKHN2VM
— Michael David Smith (@MichaelDavSmith) April 14, 2019
Seeing Tiger hug his kids on 18 reminds me of this quote from 2017:
"I never thought my kids have understood what I've been able to do in the game because they always think I'm the 'YouTube' golfer. They've never seen me in action."
— No Laying Up (@NoLayingUp) April 14, 2019
Not sure how any dad could watch Tiger’s hug with his son here and not tear up. pic.twitter.com/4xaUcKveQU
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) April 14, 2019
President Trump tweeted congratulations to Woods:
Congratulations to @TigerWoods., a truly Great Champion!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 14, 2019
Other celebrities weighed-in to congratulate Tiger as well:
Congrats Tiger! What a performance..
— Tom Brady (@TomBrady) April 14, 2019
— Harry Kane (@HKane) April 14, 2019
Greatest comeback story in sports! Congrats @TigerWoods Let me hold one of those 5 jackets one time!
— Stephen Curry (@StephenCurry30) April 14, 2019
Best five hours of tv watching in my life…congrats @TigerWoods
— Byeong Hun An (@ByeongHunAn) April 14, 2019
I am literally in tears watching @TigerWoods this is Greatness like no other. Knowing all you have been through physically to come back and do what you just did today? Wow Congrats a million times! I am so inspired thank you buddy.
— Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) April 14, 2019
One of those rare moments when we can all take a break from politics and celebrate a win together.
We all felt that win! 🇺🇸
— Candace Owens (@RealCandaceO) April 14, 2019
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) April 14, 2019
— U.S. Marines (@USMC) April 14, 2019
— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) April 14, 2019
This celebrity tweet might be the most meaningful to Tiger:
— Jack Nicklaus (@jacknicklaus) April 14, 2019
Woods’ list of major championships now stands as follows:
Tiger Woods' 15 majors:
1999 PGA Championship
2000 U.S. Open
2000 The Open
2000 PGA Championship
2002 U.S. Open
2005 The Open
2006 The Open
2006 PGA Championship
2007 PGA Championship
2008 U.S. Open
2019 Masters#LiveUnderPar pic.twitter.com/ZPsB0CUTsW
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) April 14, 2019
— Julius Vaughns (@Just_Julius) April 14, 2019
Tiger’s 14 years between Masters victories, is the longest such gap in golf history:
Tiger Woods’ Masters wins:
April 13, 1997
April 8, 2001
April 14, 2002
April 10, 2005
April 14, 2019
14 years is the longest gap from one Masters victory to the next. pic.twitter.com/tGY2SKRVEo
— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) April 14, 2019
And of course, Nike had a new ad prepared just in case Tiger won. It was pretty much perfect:
Of course, no victory celebration is complete without kissing the girlfriend:
Simply incredible. pic.twitter.com/cWIpdMpfzy
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) April 14, 2019
After a seemingly endless string of personal and physical hardships, Tiger Woods is finally back.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn