Tiger Woods, 43, has won his 5th Masters Green Jacket at Augusta National on Sunday, his first major win in 11 years and a first since having four operations on his back.
In the time between the 2008 US Open up to Sunday at the Masters, he has won 15 major golf titles.
Woods has gone through a series of highs and lows in which he admitted of infidelity and the breakdown of his marriage that led to him taking a break from golf.
The former world number one returned but then had injuries and back surgeries, slipped down the rankings, and even thought his career was over. His off-course problems also continued when he was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence in 2017.
But now at the age of 43, he has won at Augusta for the first time since 2005 and 23-time Grand Slam tennis champion Serena Williams, who herself has struggled with injuries throughout her career and has twice suffered a pulmonary embolism, said of Woods’ “greatest comeback story in sport”:
“I am literally in tears watching Tiger Woods, this is greatness like no other,” the American tweeted. “Knowing all you have been through physically to come back and do what you just did today? Wow. Congrats a million times! I am so inspired.”
Six-time NBA all-star Stephen Curry called Woods’ victory “the greatest comeback story in sports” and asked Woods if he could “hold one of those five jackets one time!”
Former basketball player Magic Johnson posted that “the roar of the Tiger is back” while Tom Brady, who won a record sixth Super Bowl in February, spent the evening “running the numbers on how long it’ll take me to get to 15”.
Former US President Barack Obama, who played a round of golf with Woods during his time in office, paid tribute to Woods’ determination after a difficult few years.
“To come back and win the Masters after all the highs and lows is a testament to excellence, grit and determination,” he wrote.
Woods’ former coach Butch Harmon told Sky Sports: “I’ve never seen him show emotion like that. At any time, anywhere, any time in his life. He was humbled by his own mistakes, the things he went through he created, nobody else created them, and he came out the other side.
“He got himself help, he got his body right, he got his head right and he went to work on his game. I couldn’t be happier for him and his family.”
Phil Mickelson said of his long-time rival Woods: “I’m so impressed by his incredible performance and I’m so happy for him to capture another Green Jacket. Truly a special day that will go down in history”.
Woods, the 15-time major winner said he “could barely walk” before surgery and his children had seen golf cause “pain”.
“We’re creating new memories for them and it’s just very special,” he said. I was very lucky to be given another chance to do something that I love to do. I had serious doubts after what transpired a couple of years ago.
“I couldn’t lay down, I couldn’t do much of anything. I had the procedure which gave me a chance of having a normal life. All of a sudden I realised I could swing a club again. I felt if I could somehow piece this together I still had the hands to do it. The body is not the same but I still had good hands.
“To have the opportunity to come back like this, you know it’s probably one of the biggest wins I’ve ever had for sure. It’s got to be right up there, with all the things I’ve battled through.”