Return of Tiger’s claws: Woods wins Masters

by Gary Shelton on April 15, 2019 · 4 comments

in general, Golf

Tiger won his fifth Masters Sunday./CARMEN MANDATO

Monday, 2 a.m.

Had you given up? Had you closed the book on the Tiger Woods story?

Did you think of Woods’ as yesterday’s golfer, the guy who was great before the surgeries and the scandal? Did you think he was in the history books?

And even if you did, don’t you think it’s cool that Tiger, once again, is the golfer who matters the most to the most fans?

Woods captured his fifth Masters Sunday, 14 years after his previous title.

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Even Woods doubted he could come back./CARMEN MANDATO

It was 22 years ago, half of his lifetime, that Woods won his first. Only Jack Nicklaus, with six, has won more Masters. Only Nicklaus, at 46, was older when he won his last.

“It was just unreal, to be honest with you,” Woods said. “You know, just the whole tournament has meant so much to me over the years. Coming here in ’95 for the first time, and being able to play as an amateur; winning in’97, and then come full circle, 22 years later, to be able to do it again, and just the way it all transpired today.

“There were so many different scenarios that could have transpired on that back nine. There were so many guys that had a chance to win. Leaderboard was absolutely packed and everyone was playing well. You couldn’t have had more drama than we all had out there, and now I know why I’m balding (laughter). This stuff is hard.
Yeah, just to come back here and play as well as I did and did all the things‑‑ all the little things well this week, and to do it here. This has meant so much to me and my family, this tournament, and to have everyone here, it’s something I’ll never, ever forget.”

This was a comeback for the ages, in other words. You can’t be blamed if you had given up  on Woods; even he admitted he seemed to be done

“I had serious doubts after what transpired a couple years ago,” Woods said. “I could barely walk. I couldn’t sit. Couldn’t lay down. I really couldn’t do much of anything.

“Luckily I had the procedure on my back, which gave me a chance at having a normal life. But then all of a sudden, I realized I could actually swing a golf club again. I felt if I could somehow piece this together that I still had the hands to do it. The body’s not the same as it was a long time ago, but I still have good hands.

“So that certainly has helped, and I pieced it together, and next thing you know, 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.”

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Rick Martin April 15, 2019 at 3:55 pm

I was stationed @ Fort Gordon for the US Army in Augusta and fortunate to see several Masters over the years courtesy of badges that they donated to Soldiers. I was at the 1997 Masters when I along w/ hundreds/thousands saw him hook that first shot as a pro off the tee on #1. He went on to shoot 40 on the front and I moved on and watched other golfers. So much hype. He made a comeback on that first round and ended up winning. I gave up on him awhile ago when he seemed to develope the short game yips as well as his debilitating back injury. Happy to see him make a comeback. Not so happy to see him get some sort of Father of the Year label after his win and having his son there admiring him. Didn’t we learn anything not to put these athletes on the pedestal for these sorts of things? Does winning another Masters make him a better father? Kind of cringed all day today listening to sports talk radio and talk about this fatherhood thing. Just had to shake me head.

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Gary Shelton April 15, 2019 at 9:48 pm

People romanticize their heros. Tiger is a flawed man. We both know that. Michael Jordan could be an ass. But we invent them and re-write them.

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Larry Beller April 15, 2019 at 8:10 am

Tiger said he will never forget this tournament but I don’t think anyone else who watched it will either. We witnessed greatness on Sunday. I’ll admit to having tears in my eyes watching Tiger hug all his family. And seeing all the golfers who waited for him at the end was touching too. Tiger has redeemed himself in so many ways in recent years. This tournament was the ultimate payoff.

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Gary Shelton April 15, 2019 at 8:48 am

It was a nice moment with him and his kids, wasn’t it? Like many of us, Tiger is a flawed human. But overcoming pain is something we can all relate to. I was openly pullling for him.

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