The comeback is now complete for Tiger Woods, as he won The Masters on Sunday.
This is Woods’ first major title in 11 years and his first Masters victory since 2005. He now had 15 major championships and is just three behind Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18.
Tiger won it with a score of -13, outlasting Xander Schauffele Dustin Johnson, and Brooks Koepka, who each finished at -12, and Jason Day, Webb Simpson, Tony Finau, and Francesco Molinari (who entered Sunday with the lead) at -11.
Tiger shot two under par in the final round, including three birdies on the back nine (at the 13, 15, 16 holes), and he entered the final hole with a two-stroke lead, and playing cautiously, he took a 5 on the par-4 18.
Tiger said of how it feels to win The Masters again, “Yeah, just unreal, to be honest with you. You know, just the whole tournament has meant so much to me over the years. Coming here in ’95 for the first time, and being able to play as an amateur; winning in’97, and then come full circle, 22 years later, to be able to do it again, and just the way it all transpired today.
“There were so many different scenarios that could have transpired on that back nine. There were so many guys that had a chance to win. Leaderboard was absolutely packed and everyone was playing well. You couldn’t have had more drama than we all had out there, and now I know why I’m balding (laughter). This stuff is hard.
Yeah, just to come back here and play as well as I did and did all the things‑‑ all the little things well this week, and to do it here. This has meant so much to me and my family, this tournament, and to have everyone here, it’s something I’ll never, ever forget.”
People wondered if we would ever see him win a major again after what he has been through the last decade with his personal scandals and numerous injuries to his back and knees.
Woods’ injury issues began when he played through his last major championship, the 2008 US Open, with what was later revealed to be a broken leg.
Last year, it was apparent Woods was back on track when he made a charge led on Sunday at the British Open, but finished sixth. In the PGA Championship, he shot -14 and came in second.
In September, he won the Tour Championship with a score of -11, his first tournament victory since 2013.
Now that Tiger has broken through and won a major, there’s no reason to think he’ll stop now.
Here Is Tiger Woods’ Press Conference:
THE MODERATOR: This is clearly one of those monumental days in all of sport when people all around the world will say, “Where were you when Tiger won his 5th green jacket in 2019?”
TIGER WOODS: Well, I know where I was (laughter). Yeah, I had a little one‑foot tap‑in.
It hasn’t sunk in at all. This is one of those things, it’s going to take a little bit of time, and I’m just fresh off of just winning the tournament, and I just can’t wait to see how it all unfolded from the TV perspective, because I know I was grinding hard trying to chase Francesco today, and then all of a sudden the leaderboard flipped and there were a bunch of guys up there who had a chance to win.
I hit some of the best shots on that back nine today. You know, I felt like I just flushed it coming home, which was a nice feeling.
Q. When you walked off the green, and you saw your mom and your children, did you flash back to your dad and the initial win?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, absolutely. My dad shouldn’t have come in’97. I mean, he had heart complications, and wasn’t supposed to fly, but he flew and came. Gave me a putting lesson on Wednesday night, and the rest is history.
My dad’s no longer here, but my mom’s here, 22 years later, and I happen to win the tournament; and then to have both Sam and Charlie here, they were there at the British Open last year when I had the lead on that back nine, and I made a few mistakes, cost myself a chance to win The Open title.
I wasn’t going to let that happen to them twice (smiling), and so for them to see what it’s like to have their dad win a major championship, I hope that’s something they will never forget.
Q. “Comeback” is going to be a word we’re always going to think about here. So how would you describe that for you? And also the doubts, since some of us saw you at Torrey 11 years ago, and the doubts that you could ever do this again.
TIGER WOODS: I had serious doubts after what transpired a couple years ago. I could barely walk. I couldn’t sit. Couldn’t lay down. I really couldn’t do much of anything.
Luckily I had the procedure on my back, which gave me a chance at having a normal life. But then all of a sudden, I realized I could actually swing a golf club again. I felt if I could somehow piece this together that I still had the hands to do it. The body’s not the same as it was a long time ago, but I still have good hands.
So that certainly has helped, and I pieced it together, and next thing you know, if you look at it, my first 14 wins in majors were always‑‑ I had the lead in every one of them, or tied for the lead. To have the opportunity to come back like this, you know, it is probably one of the biggest wins I’ve ever had for sure because of it.
Q. I don’t know if you know, but you broke the streak. I had mentioned to you about winners were in the Top‑10 the last 13 years. You were tied for 11th after the first day. So you broke the streak; that you were the last one to do so‑‑
TIGER WOODS: Congratulations to me (laughter).
Q. You mentioned about the shots you hit coming in. After the tee shot on 11, was there anything that you relied on, tee shot on 12, drive on 13, 14, 15, tee shot on 16, tee shot on 17 and 18; was there anything specific that you leaned on?
TIGER WOODS: No. Nothing specific. Because I felt like that was probably the strongest part of my game all week was driving the golf ball. I’ve been working on trying to shape the golf ball both ways coming into this event, and was able to do that.
And yeah, the tee shot at 11 was awful. You know, I leaned on it, trying to hit it‑‑ trying to flight it a little bit and it got stuck underneath there. Had a shot. I just kept saying, if I can just sneak out of here with a par, we have a lot of golf left. We have two par 5s, a gettable pin at 14, another one at 17 and anything could happen up 18.
So I just said, just keep plodding along, and then next thing you know, I see Brooksy make a mistake at 12. Francesco made a mistake at 12. Patrick was making a run up ahead. DJ was making a run. Xander was making a run. There were so many different scenarios that evolved, and I was looking at the leaderboard coming off 13 green and there’s six, seven guys with a chance to win the tournament.
Just kept telling myself, I have, along with Francesco, we have the most holes to play, so whatever they do, I’ll just birdie the same holes, then it’s a moot point. As you know, I birdied 13, I birdied 15 with two good shots in there, and almost whooped it at 16.
That gave me the cush, and I kept telling myself on 17, that tee shot, I said, I’ve been in this position before. I had a two‑shot lead with DiMarco and went bogey, bogey. Let’s go ahead and pipe this ball right down the middle. Hit a little flat squeezer out there and I did, I just smoked it. I made par there.
Then 18, I said, hey, it’s not over yet. Arnold lost the tournament and lost the hole with a double. So let’s keep the hammer down. Brooksy could still make birdie up 18 and I could make bogey and next thing you know we’re in a playoff, so let’s get this ball in play. I did, and I saw him tap out for par, and that gave me the cush knowing that I could make bogey.
And I had a little bit of mud on my golf ball playing that shot, and I said just make sure I overcut this thing; don’t undercut it. Overcut it to the right. And I did. I whoofed it and hit it over to the right and I was able to put that ball on the green and two‑putt.
Q. You have not had the lead on Sunday since 2005. When you had it today, was it like getting back on a bike, it was like you had never gotten off, or were‑‑ what was that like? What was your comfort level?
TIGER WOODS: It didn’t feel unfamiliar because I had the lead at The Open Championship. So that was just two majors ago.
That would be something different if I didn’t have the lead from ’05 to now, but it was just last year in July that I had the lead.
I just kept saying, I’ve been here, it wasn’t that long ago. Just go ahead and just keep playing your game, keep plodding along and keep doing all the little things correctly. Miss the ball in the correct spots, be committed to it, even if the wind is puffing up and down, keep committed to it and committed to the shot shape, and I was.
Q. You appeared to exude extreme calm. Is that something you are sensing and aware of? And also, is that something attributable to the gum and why gum? (Laughter).
TIGER WOODS: Well, I’m chomping on this gum because I usually get hungry, I keep eating so much. And it curbs my appetite a little bit, which is nice.
Most of the time, most of the issues I have at tournaments, I lose so much weight, as you all know. So I’m aware‑‑ if that’s what it is. What was the other question?
TIGER WOODS: Calmness.
Q. More than normal? Did you feel it?
TIGER WOODS: I just felt so prepared coming into this event. This year, my finishes don’t really reflect it, but I was starting to shape the golf ball the way that I know I can, which I needed for this week.
Prep for the Masters starts six months ago, so just trying to make sure I get ready to peak for this one week, and I did, and everything came together, which is great. I kept doing all the little things correctly. Missed the ball in the correct spots time and time and time again, and if I was out of position, so be it, take my bogey and move on. I had no doubles this week. Just kept, as I said, just kept plodding along.
Q. Since your kids are growing up now, do they have a deeper appreciation of the work that you do? And you and Joey had a conversation after 5, just some insight into that.
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I think the kids are starting to understand how much this game means to me, and some of the things I’ve done in the game; prior to comeback, they only knew that golf caused me a lot of pain. If I tried to swing a club I would be on the ground and I struggled for years, and that’s basically all they remember.
Luckily I’ve had the procedure where that’s no longer the case and I can do this again. So, you know, we’re creating new memories for them, and it’s just very special.
The talk that Joey and I had off of 5‑‑ I just listened. He was saying some things that I can’t really repeat here. Then I went into the restroom and proceeded to say the same things over and over to myself, and then came out and I felt a lot better.
Q. 1 through 14, I know all majors are special to you, but one you’ve focused on because of what it meant to you with your dad, and 14 obviously had significance, too, with Torrey Pines; where did you put this one?
TIGER WOODS: It’s got to be right up there, right, with all the things that I’ve battled through. Just was able to be lucky enough and fortunate enough to be able to do this again.
It’s ironic that I’m given a chance to play golf again, and lo and behold, I won a tournament coming from behind, which I had not done for the first 14. So it’s just amazing.
Q. My generation, we kids who grew up in the late ’70s, the ’80s, ’90s, had to hear from our fathers how great the 1986 Masters was with Jack Nicklaus and the crowds; now being here in this arena, does this Masters enter into that conversation as a possible rivalry as to the best Masters final round?
TIGER WOODS: I don’t know if it is or not, but I can tell you that ’86 meant a lot to me because that was the first memory that I have of the Masters, seeing Jack celebratea 4‑iron into the green on 15, when he did that, I had never seen anybody celebrate an iron shot into a green before. That’s a moment that stuck with me.
Then I remember seeing him hug Jackie there on 18, how special that was. And then I remember obviously Seve made a mistake at 15 and Greg made a mistake at 18.
’86, and he was 46 years old; I’m 43. We had little spells in between. He had, what, six years or so I think where he didn’t win a major championship, and for me, it was 11 years. In either case, I think that’s what everyone else‑‑ that’s for them to decide.
It’s special to me. It’s special to my friends and family, and I think that everyone out here who was here got a chance to witness something that was amazing and just the competitive environment. Everyone was playing well at the same time, and it could have gone so many different ways. Just happened to hang in there and persevere.
Q. For those of us watching, 12 seemed to be the seminal moment. When Francesco’s ball went in the water, did it change anything you were thinking? Was it always going to be over the bunker, center of the green?
TIGER WOODS: That’s all I was concentrating on. I had 47 over the first tongue in the bunker there, and so my number, I was hitting it 50 and just be committed to hitting it 50. There’s a reason why‑‑ I saw Brooksy ended up short. Poults ended up short, as well. And so I‑‑ when I was up there on the tee box and it was about my turn to go, I could feel that wind puff up a little bit, and it had been something‑‑ Brooksy is stronger than I am, and he flights it better than I do, so I’m sure he hit 9‑iron and didn’t make it.
So I knew my 9‑iron couldn’t cover the flag, so I had to play left, and I said, just be committed, hit it over that tongue in that bunker. Let get out of here and let’s go handle the par 5s, and I did.
Yeah, the mistake Francesco made there let a lot of guys back into the tournament, myself included.
Q. Do you think Jack should be worried as far as the 18 majors? (Laughter).
TIGER WOODS: Well, I don’t know if he’s worried or not. I’m sure he’s home in West Palm just chilling and watching.
Q. Could you describe the impact you think you’ve had on your sport?
TIGER WOODS: I think that I’ve driven a lot more youth to the game. You know, a lot of the guys that are‑‑ especially on the Tour now, are training. They are getting bigger, stronger, faster, more athletic. They are recovering better. They are hitting the ball prodigious distances, and a little bit of that’s probably attributed to what I did.
When I first turned pro, I was the only one in the gym, except Vijay. So it was just basically he and I for years, and now everyone trains. Everyone works on their bodies, besides their game, and hey, even Phil’s working out (laughter). Things have come a long way.
Q. I think I have my own personal sport inspiring story in sports today, but I just wanted to know what is yours? Which is your most inspiring story in sports?
TIGER WOODS: Mine? I don’t know. That’s a great question. There’s so many. I don’t have one that really truly stands out, to be honest with you. Sorry.
Q. For all the things you’ve been through during the last years with struggling with your body issues, is there any specific moment that has come to your mind during the last few hours?
TIGER WOODS: The last couple hours?
Q. Yeah, since you tapped the putt on 18. Is there any moment that has come to your mind?
TIGER WOODS: Not really one moment, no. I can tell you one thing, I’m pretty sore right now. I’ve definitely let it all go today, and I ramped up the speed. I’m starting to have a little pop on the bat out there, which was good to see.
I can promise you one thing: I’m not going to hit a golf ball tomorrow (laughter).
Q. The last time you won here, you said afterward that it meant a lot to you because of your father’s health at the time. Were there moments today where you thought of him, his memory, were you inspired by him? Was there a shot out there you stood over the ball and thought of some of the lessons?
TIGER WOODS: The only thing I thought about was on a couple of the putts, like at 12, 13, coming down the hill, and especially the one on 9, was just putt to the picture, that’s it. Just putt to the picture. That’s what he always taught me to do and that’s what I just kept telling myself out there, just putt to the picture.
Q. Was there a moment, even maybe early in the week before the tournament, where you felt particularly good about your‑‑ sort of comfortable or so forth about your chances, or maybe a shot early in the tournament that you felt that way?
TIGER WOODS: You know, as I said, the shots that I was playing throughout this year were some of the shots that I was going to need for this week, and they were starting to come around.
At the Match Play, I hit a couple really nice draws out there off the tee, and was starting to feel comfortable turning it from right‑to‑left. I just felt that, you know, I’m getting comfortable with it, and pretty soon, I was starting to let it go and I was starting to let the speed go and started letting it increase, and I did this week. I started to put it out there and every now and again, I would drop the tee down and hit a little squeeze or cut out there.
Even those, if I didn’t spin it too much, those would go a little bit further. My swing was getting a little bit better, and more so than any other golf course that we play, you have to miss the golf ball in the correct spots. And so I just kept doing that, time and time again. And if I didn’t have a good look at a putt, I was going to lag it up there and move on.
I missed a few shorties out there for birdie this week, but I said, hey, you know what, that’s fine, everyone else is going to do it, as well. Just keep missing the golf ball in the correct spots, and I did.
Q. You told us on Tuesday that you didn’t need to win but you really wanted to, and you also said that the win at East Lake confirmed that you could still win. What does this win confirm for you?
TIGER WOODS: Well, I can win majors now (laughter).
The win at East Lake was a big confidence‑booster for me because I had come close last year a couple times, which still have to get it across the finish line, and I didn’t quite do it. I didn’t do it at Tampa. I didn’t do it at The Open Championship. I was a little better at the PGA, but still I didn’t win.
East Lake was a big step for me, confirming that I could still win out here and against the best players. Because East Lake, obviously it’s the hottest 30 guys for the year. To be able to do that against Rory and Rosey there gave me a lot of confidence going into this year, and I said, you know, just keep building on it and let’s try to get the mind and body peaking towards Augusta.
So my last three major championships have been pretty good, so that in itself gives me a lot of confidence going down the road.
Q. I just wondered, after you hit the first putt on 18, I don’t want to call it a quiet moment, but you’re standing off to the side while Francesco and Tony putted out. What was going through your mind at that moment?
TIGER WOODS: The new green; that damn thing should have broke (laughter). I hit a pure putt. I remember that putt breaking and it just didn’t break.
No, but I was saying, it’s not over yet, I’ve still got to make this putt. Come on, just keep it together. Keep focused. Go ahead and make sure that I commit to, even if it’s a 1 1/2‑foot putt; commit, and I did, and knocked it in. And God knows what I did after that.
Q. You have such a huge impact on so many people. Do you have any messaging after this comeback and persevering?
TIGER WOODS: I was very fortunate to be given another chance to do something that I love to do. But more importantly, I’ve been able to participate in my kids’ lives in a way that I couldn’t for a number of years.
And so they are a lot more active than I am, and I’m a little competitive myself, so I try and keep up. I tried to do that for a number of years and I just couldn’t do it, but now I’m starting to do it and starting to be able to play with them and do things in their sports. That’s something I always missed. I always felt like I could do pretty much anything physically, but for a while there, I just couldn’t even walk.
Now I’m able to play golf again, and do it at an elite level again, which is something that I’m just very blessed to be able to have that opportunity again.
Q. I wanted to know, sort of a follow‑up to Ann’s question. People have struggles in their lives, personal struggles, physical struggles, and you’ve overcome these things. What message might you say to people who are struggling? What encouragement would you give them to not give up and to say that you can possibly overcome these issues?
TIGER WOODS: Well, you never give up. That’s a given. You always fight. Just giving up’s never in the equation.
Granted, pushing and being competitive has got me into this position, but it’s also what got me out of it. And so I’ve always had a pretty good work ethic throughout my career and throughout my life, and I just had to change the work ethic a bit and work on some different things. Focused on that and just keep fighting. That’s just part of the deal. We wake up every morning, and there’s always challenges in front of us, and keep fighting and keep getting through.
Q. I’m curious, what did Sam and Charlie say to you after it was over, and what have they maybe said to you over the past couple years that perhaps motivates you?
TIGER WOODS: Well, I don’t think we heard‑‑ well, I definitely didn’t hear them, because I was screaming. I think everyone else was, too.
I think that‑‑ I think‑‑ well, I hope, I hope they are proud of me. I hope they are proud of their dad. So I’ve been very blessed to have two great kids, and just to have them here to see this and witness this, you know, I’ve tried to describe‑‑ they have never been to Augusta National, so try and describe the slopes and everything. I said, this is a pretty unique event. This is very special. Really hope you guys are able to come.
So it all worked out and here they are.
Q. I know you’ve touched on it a little bit, but it seems like your smile got bigger as the week kind of went on. Can you just talk about how happy you were to be out there and competing, and then obviously to be able to win?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I mean, I had a pretty good feeling going into this week that I was going to be able to contend in this event. I really felt that I was starting to shape the golf ball, and my putting was starting to come around. My short game’s been there. I know that I made a few mistakes the last couple tournaments, but it just felt like it was there. My hands were good.
I just kept‑‑ as I kept alluding to earlier, I kept telling myself to miss the ball in the correct spots, and I did, time and time again. I was very disciplined in what I was doing out there. Even when yesterday guys were shooting 64 left and right, I was just kind of going around, just handle your business, work your way up the board. We’ve still got a lot of golf, a lot of holes to play, and just make sure that I’m there in the end.
So I could shoot myself out of the tournament, but just make sure that I keep myself in the event. There’s so many different things that can happen on the back nine on Sunday. We all know that, and it played itself out again. There were so many different scenarios that could have happened after 12. It could have gone so many different ways, and I just kept saying, just keep hanging in there until the last couple holes and we’ll see where we are. Just keep hanging in there.
Birdieing 15 and 16, you know, gave me a nice little cush with the last two holes to play, but still, there’s different scenarios that could have happened there, as well.
Q. Does this victory change your playing schedule for the year?
TIGER WOODS: Nope. Want me to elaborate? (Smiling).
As I said, I’m not going to play as much as I did last year. I played a little bit too much last year because I kept trying to qualify for World Golf Championships and events in the Playoffs. The playing schedule doesn’t change. I’m going to play a little bit less than I did last year.
Again, just play in the tournaments‑‑ in the tournaments I do play in, I’ll be fully invested and committed to playing and trying to win.
Q. Looking at some of the shots you played today, like the putt from the back of 9 or the smart shot to hit it well left of the pin at 12; do you feel your biggest asset on the grounds here is experience, or if not, what is?
TIGER WOODS: Well, I think that if ‑‑ and it helps being around here and playing this golf course so many different times. Unfortunately I’ve hit the ball in some weird spots, like 9 being one of them; I’ve been up there before.
You know, I had not been that centered to that flag, center of the green. I’ve been more on the right side of the green, so I had a little better angle. But I’ve had a very similar putt to that speed‑wise, so made sure that if I make a mistake on that putt, make the mistake of leaving it short up on that middle ridge. Don’t make the mistake of hitting it too hard and having it go off the front of the green.
I can walk away with a three‑putt and still be in the tournament. Who knows, I can make one down from the middle shelf, who knows, but just don’t make the mistake long and make 6. I know I have a putt and I’m putting for birdie, but just don’t make 6 here. I think it’s just the little things of discipline like that is what it takes to win on this golf course.
You look at Bernie, he’s 61, made the cut and was under par. I mean, it goes to show you, if you understand how to play this golf course, you can beat pretty much anyone, because it’s about how to play it.
Q. At THE PLAYERS, you made the point that Jack’s record of 18 majors wasn’t one of those bullet points on the poster that you were chasing all your life. Now that you’re one closer at 15, is that more of a focus? Is that a bigger goal now?
TIGER WOODS: You know, I really haven’t thought about that yet. I’m sure that I’ll probably think of it going down the road. Maybe, maybe not. But right now, it’s a little soon, and I’m just enjoying 15.
Q. You’re talking about shaping shots and everything coming together. You used to rate your game, A, B, B plus. Can you rate where your game is right now?
TIGER WOODS: I’m not going to do that, but I will tell you it’s the best I’ve felt with a driver in years.
I was able to hit the golf ball both ways this week, and some of the shots I hit down 13, turn it around the corner, a couple of drives down 2, some of the bombs I hit down 3; and then to hit little squeezers out there down 7; you saw it today on 15 and 17 and even on 18, just little trap‑squeezers out there, as well. I was able to hit both end of the spectrum, low cuts and high draws. That’s not easy to do, so I just really felt that I had that much control in my long game and it paid off.
Q. To be able to do this in front of your kids, and a lot of people didn’t think that you would obviously be here in this spot here on Sunday afternoon, but now to be able to give your children this memory, what does that mean to you?
TIGER WOODS: It means the world to me. Their love and their support, I just can’t say enough how much that meant to me throughout my struggles when I really just had a hard time moving around. Just their infectiousness of happiness; you know, I was going through a tough time physically. There was a lot of times when I really couldn’t move, and so that in itself is difficult.
But just to have them there, and then now to have them see their Pops win, just like my Pops saw me win here, it’s pretty special. (Smiling).
Q. How much more of a joyous experience is this, and also, what does age mean anymore for a professional athlete? We’ve had a 41‑year‑old Super Bowl winner, and now you. Has age been expanded and extended, or is it less relevant?
TIGER WOODS: Well, I think it’s training and nutrition. Exercise programs have changed. They have progressed. The treatment protocols have changed. Guys are able to take care of their bodies for a longer period of time. We know how important it is to eat perfectly and to train and also the recovery tactics that you have to employ, especially as you get older. As we get older, it sucks hopping in those ice baths, but it’s just part of the deal.
But I just think that athletes, because of the understanding of the general science of sports performance has allowed, you know, athletes to push their primes into much later stages. And then also, you also have to be lucky, too. You can’t have those big major injuries in some sports, especially contact sports.
My sport’s different. I can play a much longer period of time. I don’t have to hit the ball 340 yards. I can still plod my way around the golf course. We saw it here with Jack in ’98; he had a chance to win. We saw Tom Watson at 59 had it on his putter.
In this sport, we’re able to play a much longer period of time, and you’re just seeing guys that are taking care of their bodies a lot better and able to play longer.
Q. This week was a very special week, too, for Latin American golf. It was the first time that Latin America Amateur Championship winner made the cut. So just a few thoughts about the Amateur players that were here this week?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I just think the game is growing. Before, I think you had Joaquin playing well. The game of golf is growing and it’s a global sport. We’re getting players from all over the world. They are younger, they are better, and they are hungry to play. It’s just a matter of them working their way up with opportunities.
And so we are starting to see the game has expanded. It’s not just your general golf countries, historically, whether it’s United States or the U.K. or it’s Australia or South Africa, or even Japan.
Now, it’s truly a global sport, and you’re seeing kids that are better younger at a much earlier age than you’ve ever seen before.
Q. You’ve had such an influence on the younger golfers, and talking to Brooks outside not too long ago, he said, “Tiger’s back.” Do you feel like you’re back physically, mentally and everything that it takes to win at this level?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I do, because I just did it, you know (laughter) (smiling broadly).
I was able to play some of my best golf over the last, basically, I think the last three days, and the first day was a little bit here and there, but the last three days, I really played well.
I’m going to keep saying this, but there was so many different scenarios that could have happened on that back nine. I’ve been in that spot before. I’ve been in a position where I’ve won, and I’ve been in a position where I’ve lost. But I just kept telling myself, at least I’m in that position. Let’s go ahead, and we have a lot of holes to play. I was able to handle the heat down the stretch and pull off some of my best shots.
Q. Congratulations coming from Italy. We are waiting for you for three years to go for The Ryder Cup, an historic Ryder Cup. This kind of shape you are showing, you are planning to come as a player and against maybe Francesco Molinari as a captain or vice captain. Last time you were in Italy someone, a cameraman, brokeyour teeth I think.
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, my tooth, yeah. Yeah, I had a great smile after that one, didn’t I.
Well, I’m a captain this year, so I’m hoping to make my own team.
We’ll see what happens when the tournament and the selection process goes to Italy. That’s a long way to go, but the points don’t even start for a little bit. We’ll see what happens from now and then.
Q. You got to play in the final round with one of your teammates from The Ryder Cup, Tony Finau. Tell us a little bit about what you think about his game?
TIGER WOODS: I mean, God, he hits it long. I mean, he makes a little half‑swing, and still hits the ball out there 310, 320 in the air. It’s just remarkable.
You know, it helps that your ankle’s not dislocated, either. He’s able to walk around there and hit good shots. Tony’s made some leaps in the last couple years. He’s starting to piece together a game that’s going to contend week‑in and week‑out. He shows it every now and again but it’s getting more consistent. He’s learning what to do and what not to do strategically.
So you can see the mind working out there. It wasn’t like when he was younger, just go ahead and pound it out there. He’s starting to figure out shots and shapes and he’s starting to figure out how to play, and it’s only going to get better. With that length, it’s such an asset, especially in today’s game, that he’ll win multiple tournaments, and I’m sure a major championship is definitely in his future.
THE MODERATOR: Tiger, could you indulge us and just tell us the clubs you hit into which green, today, for the record, please.
TIGER WOODS: Into each green.
THE MODERATOR: Each one if you could.
TIGER WOODS: I hit 8‑iron into 1.
I hit a 4‑iron into 2.
I hit a sand wedge into 3.
Hit a 4‑iron short of the green on 4.
I hit a 4‑iron to the right on 5.
I hit an 8‑iron into 6.
I hit an 8‑iron into 7.
I hit a 5‑wood over the back at 8, chipped back.
9, I hit an 8‑iron there.
10, I pitched out and then hit an 8‑iron in there and made bogey.
11, I hit a 7‑iron.
12, I hit 9.
13, I hit 8.
14, I hit 9.
15, I hit a 5‑iron.
16, I hit an 8‑iron.
17, I hit an 8‑iron.
And 18, I hit an 8‑iron.
How many 8‑irons is that? (Laughter).
THE MODERATOR: Tiger, thanks. Your victory today is going to inspire not only children but adults all over the world. Magnificent achievement. Congratulations. You are a very, very worthy champion and we’re proud that you’re wearing that jacket for the fifth time today.
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I’m excited about show‑and‑tell at school.