AUGUSTA, Ga. – Tiger Woods was just a kid when he was 21 years old when he won his first master (and his first of 15 majors) in 1997.
When he won it for the fifth time on Sunday, he was a bald, 43-year-old father of two whose children, eleven-year-old daughter Sam Alexis and ten-year-old son Charlie Axel, greeted him after taking a meaningless bogey for 18, to win one.
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"My dad (Earl Woods) is not here anymore," Woods said, "but my mother (Kultida) is here 22 years later and I win the tournament. And then, having both Sam and Charlie here – they were at the British Open last year when I was in the lead, and I made some mistakes and lost the chance to win the Open title. "
"I would not let that happen to you twice," he added with a smile. "And so they can see what it's like when their dad wins a great championship, I hope they'll never forget that."
This time it was open champ Francesco Molinari who made double bogeys on the 12th and 15th holes when Woods remained stable. At 15, he followed his two-putt birdie with an ace and a tap-in-birdie at 16, reaching 14 under par and settling for the bogey of 18 room.
His children had already resigned himself to being more than a YouTube golfer. You saw him win the 2013 Bridgestone World Golf Championships. He won the TOUR Championship in East Lake last fall, his long awaited 80th PGA TOUR victory. The 83rd championship tournament marked its first major title since the US Open in 2008 (almost 11 years). And he did it all with a fused back that once feared a future in which he would not be good enough to play with Sam and Charlie.
What did you say to him when it was over? He still does not know. It was too loud with all the screaming, including your own screaming.
"I think the kids are starting to understand what this game means to me and some of the things I did in the game," Woods said. "Before the comeback, they only knew that golf hurt me a lot. If I had tried to swing a club, I would be down and fight for years. That's all they really remember. "
Having seen their father at his lowest point, they have now seen him at his highest point.
"It means the world to me," Woods said. "Your love and support, I just can not say enough about how much that meant to me during my struggles, when I found it difficult to move. Only her infectiousness of happiness; You know, I've had a hard time physically. There have been many times when I really could not move, and that is difficult in itself. "
"But just to have them there, and then now, when they see their pops win, as my pops saw me win here, it's quite special. … I'm looking forward to showing and telling at school. "