Tiger Woods has described his victory in the 2019 Masters Tournament as “one of the biggest wins I’ve ever had”.
The 43-year-old held off a talent-heavy pack, including runners-up Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Xander Schauffele, to end an 11-year, 3,955-day drought in the events that have come to define him.
Not since the 2008 US Open had Woods won one of golf’s four major championships. You had to go back a further three years for the most recent of his four wins at Augusta National.
However, despite all that has unfolded since then – in particular, a spinal fusion procedure that cost him almost a year of his career – he finally got back into the winner’s circle in thrilling fashion this weekend.
Surprised? Don’t worry if you were. So was he.
“I had serious doubts after what transpired a couple years ago,” said Woods. “I could barely walk. I couldn't sit. Couldn't lie 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 realised 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.
“To have the opportunity to come back like this, you know, it is probably one of the biggest wins I've ever had.”
Woods added that it was extra special to have his children – Sam and Charlie –see him win a major for the first time.
“They were there at the British Open last year when I had the lead on the back nine, and I made a few mistakes, cost myself a chance to win. I wasn't going to let that happen to them twice, so 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.”