Shaw Charity Classic, Champions Tour
Pro-Am – Sept 2019
Photo taken by the author
“To now be the champion. Unreal for me to experience this. I couldn’t be more excited. I’m at a loss for words.”
– Tiger Woods
Sunday, April 14th, 2019
It’s official: Tiger Woods has won the 85th Masters. His mighty roar after his final putt dropped on the 72nd hole was a declaration to the golfing world that he is back. Finally! Welcome back Tiger, we’ve missed you.
It has taken Tiger 14 years to accomplish this feat and to break through major number fourteen, to now number 15. Tiger’s run at this year’s Masters was both electric and elegant, all at the same time.
“I’m just enjoying 15.”
Tiger is now only three majors off to tie, and then break, Jack’s record of 18 majors. As well, this year’s Masters was his first major win since his 2008 US Open win, in which he endured through an 18 hole playoff (a fifth round) with Rooco Mediate to claim the American Open title. That’s an eleven year drought in which no major was won for Tiger, which I believe is his longest stretch to date.
Before the Masters tournament began I predicted on Social Media that Tiger would win at -14. He nearly clinched his par putt on hole number 72 and went on to tap in for bogey, to come into the clubhouse at -13. As Tiger himself said afterwards in the Media Centre, “The new green; that…thing should have broke. I hit a pure putt. I remember that putt breaking and it just didn’t break.”
But, who cares?
I certainly didn’t want the win for myself or for bragging rights. I just wanted TW to win and I believe we all felt that way for him. And he did win, and for that I am enthusiastic for him. Welcome back Tiger and all the best as you win your next 3 majors and then, of course, go on to break Mr. Nicklaus’ record for number 19, 20, or more. Well done!!
“When I tapped the putt in I don’t know what I did…I know I screamed. To have my kids there, it has come full circle. My dad was here in ’97; now I am a dad.”
– Tiger Woods
It was emotional seeing him hug his mom and children after his victory, which this moment could only bring back that memory from his first Masters win in 1997 with hugging his dad after he had won by a landslide margin. Now, 22 years later and as he said after the round in Butler’s Cabin, “It has come full circle,” in the sense of giving his own father a hug after he won in ’97 to now being a father himself and hugging his son.
I believe Tiger wanted to win this year’s Masters more than any other, only for a different reason this time: he wanted to win for his children and not himself. His kids were not there during his meteoric rise in the golfing world and all the memorable shots he made to collecting all of the hardware he has. Tiger had come so close to clinching the Claret Jug at the previous year’s British Open, but he just couldn’t get the job done, with having his children there to watch him. Sure, his kids could watch YouTube highlights of their dad absolutely crushing his opponents, and him dominating the various courses he had from the very back tees. They could even have their very own exclusive commentary from their dad, Tiger himself, but they have never seen him do this with their own eyes, or live in action. Now they have. That must have been an incredible experience for them to have witnessed and to have this picture of their dad winning The Masters for the rest of their lives.
“When I was there with my Dad, he shouldn’t have been there that year. He was recovering from a heart attack, from heart surgery. Now I’m there with Charlie. That embrace, it’s just special.”
When this week is over and all is said and done, Tiger’s son and daughter will forever have this major experience etched in their memory, and to draw from, forever. This is why this Masters is so special and unlike any other Major or Masters win. It is the passing of the torch to the next generation; namely, Tiger to both of his children.