Tiger Woods acknowledged the physical and emotional toll of winning the Masters “took a lot out of me” as he admitted he still struggles to comprehend his Augusta victory.
Golf’s biggest star ended an 11-year wait for his 15th major title by winning a fifth green jacket in April.
It was a mightily impressive achievement by the 43-year-old, whose well-documented injury struggles left many doubting whether he would win another major.
Since triumphing at the Masters, Woods missed the cut at the US PGA Championship and placed 21st at the U.S. Open either side of a top-10 finish at the Memorial Tournament, and he says the demanding nature of Augusta left its mark.
“Getting myself into position to win the Masters, it took a lot out of me. That golf course puts so much stress on the system,” he said on Tuesday ahead of The Open Championship at Royal Portrush.
“Then if you look at that leaderboard after Francesco [Molinari] made the mistake at 12, it seemed like seven, eight guys had a chance to win the golf tournament with only six holes to play. So, it became very crowded.
“A lot of different scenarios happened. I was reading the leaderboard all the time trying to figure out what the number is going to be, who is on what hole. And it took quite a bit out of me.
“Seeing my kids there, they got a chance to experience The Open Championship last year after their dad took the lead, and then made a few mistakes. And this time they got to see me win a major championship. So, it was special for us as a family.
“My mom was still around. She was there, in ’97, my dad was there, and now my kids were there. It was a very emotional week and one that I keep reliving.
“It’s hard to believe that I pulled it off and I end up winning the tournament.”
— The Open (@TheOpen) July 15, 2019
Prior to finishing tied sixth in The Open at Carnoustie last year, Woods suggested the tournament presented arguably his best chance of winning more major titles in his 40s.
It is a belief he still holds, despite his famous Masters victory.
“It does [offer me the best chance to win more majors],” he added. “It allows the players that don’t hit the ball very far or carry the ball as far to run the golf ball out there.
“And plus, there is an art to playing links golf. The more I’ve played over here and played under different conditions, being able to shape the golf ball both ways and really control trajectory, it allows you to control the ball on the ground.
“And as we know, it’s always moundy and it’s hard to control the ball on the ground.
“But being able to control it as best you possibly can in the air to control it on the ground allows the older players to have a chance to do well in The Open Championship.”