Tiger Woods fights back tears as he recalls celebrating fifth Masters win with son just like he did with his dad in 1997
TIGER WOODS says he still gets “chills” thinking about his incredible fifth Masters triumph – 19 months after he pulled on the green jacket.
Woods had to fight back tears yesterday as he talked about how emotional it felt to complete his victory with son Charlie waiting to embrace him – just as his dad did after his first Masters win in 1997.
He said: “As you can see, I’m getting a little teary just thinking about that win, even though it was quite a while ago now.
“It’s hard to describe the feelings I had coming up 18, and knowing that all I have to do is just two putt that little 15 footer to win the Masters 14 years after I last won at Augusta.
“And to see my family there and my mum and my kids and all of the people that helped support me or were there for me in the tough times, I was walking up there just trying not to lose it emotionally.
“Then I walked off the back of the green, and to see Charlie there, and we just opened up our arms to each other, it meant a lot to me, and still does.
“It just reminded me so much of me and my dad, and to come full circle like that. It still gives me chills just thinking about it.”
Woods admits he finds it difficult to choose between his first Masters success and his most recent one as the most satisfying of his 15 Major victories, because they both meant so much
He added: “I think that 1997 was probably the one that always stood out, with my dad and his heart surgery, and coming to the Masters and winning my first Major, and the way I did it.
“But last year was more emotional in a different way just because of the struggles I've had. And I had never, ever won a major coming from behind.
“And here I am in a three-ball, which we had never done before on the final day, and we've never teed off that early. There were all a lot of ‘never happened before’ elements to the win.
“Plus my kids were there, and it was just so special. As I said, to come full circle from me being with my dad and seeing my son there and the same embrace, 22 years apart – pretty good bookends.”
This is the 25th anniversary of Woods’ first Masters appearance, as a 19-year-old amateur, and he was far from complimentary about how he was back then.
He grinned: “I was just a little punk college student, got a chance to play on Wednesday with Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer. Imagine that.
“And we're playing for some skins, and I didn't have any cash in my pocket, and you know, Arnold makes a putt on 18 and takes all the skins away from us.
“And then Jack and Arnold asked me: ‘Hey, do you want to go play the Par 3 Contest?’ So I said I was due to play later, but Jack said just follow us and we played together. It was an awesome introduction to Augusta.”
I expect to contend here this week and for quite a few years to come, because a lot of past champions have shown it is possible to do that on this course at quite an advanced age.
Woods is just a month away from his 46th birthday – the age at which Nicklaus memorably captured his sixth Masters title.
And the defending champion insists he is in it to win it again this week, despite showing virtually no signs of form this year.
Since he clocked up a top ten in his first event of the year back in February, Woods has played just seven times, and his best finish was a share of 37th place at the USPGA Championship.
He finished 72nd out of 78 starters in his last event, the Zozo Championship two weeks ago – when he was also defending the title – but said that will count for little this week.
He added: “I expect to contend here this week and for quite a few years to come, because a lot of past champions have shown it is possible to do that on this course at quite an advanced age.
Hopefully, this will be the week
“Yeah, I haven’t played much golf this year, and my results haven’t been great, but I haven’t been that far off.
“I just haven't put all the pieces together at the same time, whether it's because I've driven well but hit my irons poorly.
"Or I've put the ball striking together, and I haven't putted well. And then I've had it where I've putted well and I've hit it poorly.
“I haven't played a lot,only six events since we started up again after the coronavirus shutdown, because I concentrated on trying to understand what we have to deal with this year, and trying to be safe.
“I was hesitant to come back and start playing, and that's why I waited as long as I did and then it was pretty much straight into the Majors, the PGA and the US Open.
“And from there, as I said, I really haven't put all the pieces together. But hopefully, this will be this week when I do that.”
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