It was one of those sports endings that will stick in the memory banks for years. Tuck it alongside those sepia-toned ones of a young Tiger Woods hugging his father at the 1997 Masters. Or the Tiger fist pump at the 2008 U.S. Open.
And when it was clear that he needed only to play conservative golf to close out the tournament on No. 18, the reaction was a little more emotional than one might expect. Maybe it was the flashback to all those tearful, post-victory hugs with his dad. Perhaps the realization that Woods is 43 had something to do with it. He hadn’t won a Masters in 14 years and maybe, because we’re all older now, too, we know that these moments of sports greatness are precious and rare. Perhaps we could all appreciate a man who has overcome personal demons and injuries along the way.
Back when Woods was going through personal troubles, Nike stood by him, and the company quickly posted a tribute to Woods’s victory Sunday.
One of Woods’s golfing partners noticed, too. “Love people who are great under pressure,” President Trump tweeted. “What a fantastic life comeback for a really great guy!”
Former president Barack Obama called Woods’s win “a testament to excellence, grit and determination.”
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
Other golfers were moved, too. Even Woods’s former adversary, Phil Mickelson, noticed. “What a great moment for the game of golf. I’m so impressed by Tiger Woods’ incredible performance, and I’m so happy for him to capture another Green Jacket,” he tweeted. “Truly a special day that will go down in history.”
Part of what made it special was the interaction between Woods and his children, and afterward he spoke of having his daughter, Sam, and son, Charlie, with him, just as they were all those years he was injured.
“It means the world to me. Their love and their support is — I just can’t say enough about how much it meant to me during my struggles, just the infectiousness of happiness as I was going through a tough time physically when I just couldn’t move. Now, to have them see their pops win, just like my pops saw me win here, is pretty special.”
Other greats in their sports, including Serena Williams, Steph Curry and Tom Brady, reacted to the stunning win, and Twitter officials noted that there were more than 1.4 million tweets about Woods and more than 1.8 million about the Masters.
Congrats Tiger! What a performance..— Tom Brady (@TomBrady) April 14, 2019
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