Golf Digest Videos

Why No Tiger Woods Win Will Ever Compare to This One

A breakdown of Tiger's historic win at the 2019 Masters

Released on 4/19/2019

Transcript

00:03
[Reporter] No one has ever been too good at golf,
00:05
but Tiger Woods, at one point, was at least close.
00:09
When you win your first Major as a pro by 12 strokes,
00:13
win the US Open by 15,
00:16
then win another on a broken leg,
00:19
the definition of impressive changes.
00:23
It's as if you leave yourself nowhere else to go.
00:28
A dozen years into his career,
00:30
with 14 Majors and millions in the bank,
00:33
Woods had done pretty much everything in golf.
00:38
And then one day,
00:41
he couldn't do anything at all.
00:50
When Woods headed to the first tee Sunday
00:52
at the 2019 Masters,
00:54
he faced a two stroke deficit to Francesco Molinari,
00:59
noteworthy because the 43-year-old Woods
01:01
had never come from behind to win a major championship.
01:05
Yet of all the things Woods had to overcome
01:07
in winning another Masters,
01:09
this might have been the least significant.
01:12
Instead, on the first tee, before finding the first fairway,
01:15
Woods could have thought about how it had been 14 years
01:18
since he had last won a Masters.
01:21
When he laid up on the par four third
01:23
to set up his first birdie of the day,
01:25
he might have remembered that it had been 11 years
01:29
since he had won a Major.
01:31
Across the front nine in which he trailed Molinari
01:34
and had strung together a couple of bogies,
01:37
Woods could have been excused
01:38
if he thought about his incredible fall from grace.
01:42
Turning into Amen Corner, where he somehow carved a shot
01:45
out of the tree on the 11th,
01:47
Woods might have remembered the debilitating
01:49
string of injuries that had made swinging a golf club
01:52
next to impossible.
01:54
By the 12th hole, after three players ahead of him
01:56
had found the water,
01:58
Woods had no choice but to contemplate
02:00
what shot he needed to safely land his ball
02:02
on the narrow green.
02:04
But even then, his mind may have wandered
02:06
to a time when this moment,
02:08
playing for real on the most important stage in golf,
02:11
could have only been relegated to fantasy.
02:15
It had been just two years earlier
02:17
when an aching Woods hobbled into the champions dinner
02:20
and confided to fellow Masters winners
02:22
that the pain was just too great
02:25
and he was probably done playing golf.
02:28
But now, here we was,
02:31
crossing the Hogan Bridge with a chance to take the lead
02:33
in the Masters.
02:36
In many ways, the finish at Augusta National on Sunday
02:39
was vintage Woods.
02:41
The most electric player in golf,
02:43
making all the shots that counted,
02:46
then delivering a final, emphatic blow
02:48
with his birdie on the 16th hole.
02:51
But in reality, this was not vintage Woods
02:54
because this Masters was different.
02:57
To win this year, Woods didn't have to just
02:59
navigate the golf course in front of him.
03:01
In his own mind and to a skeptical public,
03:04
he had to overcome everything he had hoped to leave behind.
03:08
This is what you saw when Woods holed out for the win on 18.
03:13
It was his fifth Masters and his 15th Major.
03:18
He won by a single stroke,
03:20
but even factoring in those Majors
03:22
that he had won by double digits,
03:24
this was by far his most impressive.
03:28
Not so long ago, remember, an outcome like this
03:31
seemed possible.
03:34
A golfer whose family life had fallen into disarray,
03:37
who often worried about participating
03:39
in the lives of his kids
03:40
could now walk triumphantly off the golf course
03:43
and wrap those kids in his arms.
03:47
Turns out Woods did leave himself somewhere to go.
03:50
In winning the Masters,
03:52
he had completed one of the most
03:53
remarkable journeys in history,
03:56
from the brink of oblivion
04:00
back to the top of his sport.
More from golfdigest.com
Equipment The Complete Hot List
Equipment The Complete Hot List
Golf Culture Most Annoying Golfers
Golf Culture Most Annoying Golfers
Instruction How To Do Everything
Instruction How To Do Everything
News & Tours Blog: Stay In The Loop
News & Tours Blog: Stay In The Loop
Ranking 100 Greatest Courses
Ranking 100 Greatest Courses
Cover Story Paulina Gretzky
Cover Story Paulina Gretzky