Tiger Woods hasn’t done a lot of talking since winning his 15th major championship at the Masters almost a month ago. Actually, he hasn’t done a lot of anything. Woods did an interview with GolfTV recently in which he noted that he’s essentially been driving his kids to school and laying around since he took his fifth green jacket at Augusta National.
He, like a lot of us, still can’t really believe the entire thing happened.
“No, [it hasn’t sunk in],” said Woods. “I’ve had a few brief little dinner with some friends. I’ve just been going to and from school, and I really haven’t done much. I haven’t seen much; I haven’t done much. I’ve been basically just relaxing and getting away from it.
“It does [feel surreal]. I was texting one of my good friends last night that I couldn’t believe I won the tournament. It really hasn’t sunk in. I haven’t started grinding up for my next event. I haven’t started prepping my body. I haven’t started doing anything. I’ve just been laying there. Every now and then I’ll look over on the couch and there’s the jacket. Yeah, I did pull it off.”
I, too, have been texting good friends saying that I cannot believe Tiger won the tournament. Good to see I’m not alone. All major wins are historic for Tiger because of his chase for Jack Nicklaus, but to do it for the first time in over 10 years and the first time at Augusta in 14 years was something that truly stretched the bounds of what we (and he) thought to be reality.
“I’ve just been trying to understand what I accomplished, but really haven’t come to grips with it yet,” said Woods. “Similar to what it was in 1997. That took me years to understand what I accomplished, and I don’t think this one will settle in for quite some time as well.
“This one feels special in its own way. It’s so different. This year, to go 14 years between jackets is a long time. Certainly I’ve had my opportunities, but I never did it. To now finally do it with so many guys with a chance. To win my first major championship coming from behind it’s so ironic given my situation of my last few years of what I’ve had to battle through. That now is finally the time when I come from behind?”
As for that renewed chase of Nicklaus’ record of 18 majors, Woods wouldn’t say never. He’ll have to have Brooks Koepka’s career (three majors) in his mid-40s to tie him, though, and Rory McIlroy’s career (four majors) to surpass him.
“I always thought it was possible if I had everything go my way,” said Woods. “It took him an entire career to get to 18. Now that I’ve had another extension to my career — one I didn’t think I had a couple years ago — if I do things correctly, and everything falls my way it’s a possibility. I’m never going to say it’s not … I just need to have a lot of things go my way.
“It’s only come together 15 times. It takes special moments for it all to come together. Hopefully, I can have it come together down the road more often. I’m excited to have this opportunity again.”
The coolest part of the interview — just like the coolest part of the Masters — was Woods talking about his kids, Charlie and Sam. No. 15 was the first they’ve been alive for and thus the first they got to see in person. Woods seemed no less glowing in the weeks after the Masters than he was in the hours after on that special Sunday.
“No one is perfect,” said Woods. “Everyone is dealt cards in their life and obstacles we all have to overcome. Some are different than others. To fight and get back up and know that this is all not done alone. I’ve had a fantastic group of people around me. Their love and support have helped.
“Having the kids and their love — they never knew golf to be a good thing in my life. The only thing they remember is that it brought this incredible amount of pain to their dad. They don’t want everyone to see their dad in pain. To now have them see this side of it — the side that I’ve experienced for so many years of my life but I had to battle to get back to this point, it feels good.”