Sunday, 14 April 2019
Tiger Woods  (Getty Images)
Tiger Woods (Getty Images)

The 2019 edition of the Masters Tournament will be one of the best remembered golfing events of all time after Tiger Woods won his 15th Major Championship and first for 11 years.

After his win he spoke of his injury problems, his comeback, his parents, his children and that thrilling back nine.

On his family...

My dad shouldn't have come in 97. He had heart complications and wasn't supposed to fly but he flew and came. Gave me a putting lesson on Wednesday night and the rest is history. My dad's no longer here but my mom's here, 22 years later, and I happen to win the tournament.

Then to have both Sam and Charlie here, they were there at the British Open last year when I had the lead on that back nine and I made a few mistakes, cost myself a chance to win The Open title. I wasn't going to let that happen to them twice and 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.

On his children understanding what he does....

I think the kids are starting to understand how much this game means to me and some of the things I've done in the game. Prior to comeback, they only knew that golf caused me a lot of pain. If I tried to swing a club I would be on the ground and I struggled for years and that's basically all they remember.

Luckily, I've had the procedure where that's no longer the case and I can do this again. So, you know, we're creating new memories for them, and it's just very special. 

On the winning putt.... 

Yeah, I had a little one‑foot tap‑in. It hasn't sunk in at all. 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. 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. 

On his comeback....

I had serious doubts after what transpired a couple years ago. 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 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. 

On the back nine on Sunday....

The tee shot at 11 was awful. I leaned on it, trying to hit it, trying to flight it a little bit and it got stuck underneath there. I had a shot, I just kept saying, 'if I can just sneak out of here with a par, we have a lot of golf left. We have two par fives, a gettable pin at 14, another one at 17 and anything could happen up 18'.

So I just said, 'just keep plodding along', and then next thing you know, I see Brooksy make a mistake at 12, Francesco made a mistake at 12. Patrick was making a run up ahead. DJ was making a run. Xander was making a run. There were so many different scenarios that evolved and I was looking at the leaderboard coming off 13 green and there's six, seven guys with a chance to win the tournament.

I just kept telling myself, 'I have, along with Francesco, we have the most holes to play, so whatever they do, I'll just birdie the same holes, then it's a moot point'. 

On hole number 12...

That's all I was concentrating on. There's a reason why, I saw Brooksy ended up short. Poults ended up short as well and so, when I was up there on the tee box and it was about my turn to go, I could feel that wind puff up a little bit.

Brooksy is stronger than I am and he flights it better than I do, so I'm sure he hit nine iron and didn't make it. So I knew my nine iron couldn't cover the flag so I had to play left and I said, 'just be committed, hit it over that tongue in that bunker. Let's get out of here and let's go handle the par fives' and I did.

The mistake Francesco made there let a lot of guys back into the tournament, myself included.

On keeping calm by chewing gum....

Well, I'm chomping on this gum because I usually get hungry, I keep eating so much and it curbs my appetite a little bit, which is nice.

Most of the time, most of the issues I have at tournaments, I lose so much weight, as you all know. So I'm aware, if that's what it is. I just felt so prepared coming into this event. 

On the sense of achievement...

It's got to be right up there, right, with all the things that I've battled through.

Just was able to be lucky enough and fortunate enough to be able to do this again. 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.

On Jack Nicklaus.....

Well, I don't know if he's worried or not. I'm sure he's home in West Palm just chilling and watching. 

On his impact...... 

I think that I've driven a lot more youth to the game. You know, a lot of the guys that are, especially on the Tour now, are training. They are getting bigger, stronger, faster, more athletic.

They are recovering better, they are hitting the ball prodigious distances and a little bit of that's probably attributed to what I did. When I first turned pro, I was the only one in the gym, except Vijay.

So it was just basically he and I for years and now everyone trains.  Everyone works on their bodies, besides their game Hey, even Phil's working out. Things have come a long way.

What he said to his children after victory....

Well, I definitely didn't hear them, because I was screaming. I think everyone else was, too. I hope they are proud of me. I hope they are proud of their dad.

So I've been very blessed to have two great kids and just to have them here to see this and witness this. They have never been to Augusta National so try and describe the slopes and everything. I said, 'this is a pretty unique event. This is very special. I really hope you guys are able to come'. So it all worked out and here they are.

If he's back for good.....

Yeah, I think I am, because I just did it, you know. I was able to play some of my best golf over the last three days. The first day was a little bit here and there but the last three days, I really played well. I'm going to keep saying this but there was so many different scenarios that could have happened on that back nine. I

I've been in that spot before. I've been in a position where I've won and I've been in a position where I've lost. But I just kept telling myself, 'at least I'm in that position. Let's go ahead and we have a lot of holes to play'. I was able to handle the heat down the stretch and pull off some of my best shots.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1WOODS, TigerUSA18-13
T2JOHNSON, DustinUSA18-12
T2KOEPKA, BrooksUSA18-12
T5DAY, JasonAUS18-11

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