Tiger Woods’ momentous victory in the Masters yesterday for his fifth Green Jacket and 15th Major was the result of six months of preparation.
Speaking to reporters after his epic one-stroke victory at Augusta National, the 43-year-old shared: “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 started 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.”
Woods acknowledged that it was stressful coming down the back nine when no less than five other players had a taste of the lead – overnight leader Francesco Molinari, Brooks Koepka, Xander Shauffele, Dustin Johnson and Patrick Cantlay.
“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 … the 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! This stuff is hard,” said Woods, who picked up his 81st PGA Tour title leaving him just one short of Sam Snead’s record.
Woods noted that he hasn’t really thought about the prospect of beating Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 Major titles. “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.”
Asked what he thought his main impact on the game was, Woods replied: “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 games … and hey, even Phil’s working out! Things have come a long way.”