The past few years have been very challenging for legendary golfer Tiger Woods. Having dealt with a highly publicized divorce in 2010 due to infidelity, losing multiple endorsement deals as a result, having a few run-ins with the law and enduring a string of injuries, Woods’ career took a sharp and shocking nosedive with a scary possibility of him never returning to his peak form that once made him the world’s best golfer for several years.
Woods has, however, managed to put his past behind him and proven his doubters wrong. Described as one of the greatest comebacks in sporting history, the 43-year-old won his fifth Masters title at the Augusta National on Sunday, making it his first major victory in 11 years.
With his mother, children and girlfriend cheering him on throughout, Woods, after winning the prestigious green jacket could not hide his excitement.
“It’s overwhelming, because of what has transpired,” he said, according to Al Jazeera.
“Last year I was just very lucky to be playing again. I missed a couple of years of playing this great tournament. And to now be the champion … what, is it 22 years [since his first Masters]? It’s a long time! It’s unreal.”
He also emotionally spoke about how important it was to have his family by his side.
“My mom was here, she was here in ’97 as well. I’m kind of at a loss for words. This is up there. It’s one of the hardest I’ve ever had to win. I was close last year in the majors. I learned from those, and was able to seal the deal today,” he said.
“To have my kids there, it’s come full circle. My dad was here in 1997 and now I’m the dad with two kids there.”
Woods’ historic win was lauded on social media by Barack Obama, President Donald Trump, Lebron James, Serena Williams, longtime partner Nike who stood by him throughout his tumultuous years, among others.
Take a look at some of the reactions below:
Congratulations, Tiger! To come back and win the Masters after all the highs and lows is a testament to excellence, grit, and determination.— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) 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
A big BIG congratulations to @TigerWoods for winning the Masters!! The roar of the Tiger is back!— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) 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
What a great moment for the game of golf. I’m so impressed by @TigerWoods’ incredible performance, and I’m so happy for him to capture another Green Jacket. Truly a special day that will go down in history. Congratulations, Tiger! #rematch ?— Phil Mickelson (@PhilMickelson) April 14, 2019
I think I speak for a lot of the golf world when I say… We’re happy for you TW! @TigerWoods what a victory ??— Justin Thomas (@JustinThomas34) April 14, 2019