Nicklaus leads praise for Woods after remarkable Masters triumph

Victory at Augusta National earned Woods his 15th major title

Tiger Woods dons the Green Jacket for a fifth time
Tiger Woods dons the Green Jacket for a fifth time (David J Phillip/AP)

Eighteen-time major winner Jack Nicklaus was quick to congratulate Tiger Woods after watching him win his fifth Masters to complete a remarkable comeback story.

Woods’s victory by one shot at Augusta was his 15th major title, leaving him three behind Nicklaus’ all-time record.

It was Woods’ first major in over a decade after multiple back surgeries and personal issues looked to have cut short his pursuit of Nicklaus – and at one point his career.

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“A big ‘well done’ from me to @Tiger Woods!” Nicklaus wrote on Twitter.

“I am so happy for him and for the game of golf. This is just fantastic.”

Former pro Paul McGinley said Woods’ victory was like something out of Hollywood.

“It’s just absolutely fantastic,” he said on Sky Sports. “This is going to transcend our game of golf.

“Not just because it’s the Masters, not just because it’s Tiger Woods, but because we all love comebacks. Hollywood is made of comebacks.

“He was like a thoroughbred racehorse. He was just pacing himself all week and, as he got to the finishing line, he put that bit of pressure on.

“His authority put pressure on the leaders and, as they made mistakes, he glided into the lead.

“It’s been a long time since his last rodeo, but he’s certainly not forgotten how to do it.”

United States President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter: “Watching final hole of @TheMasters. @TigerWoods is looking GREAT!”

His predecessor Barack Obama tweeted: “Congratulations, Tiger! To come back and win the Masters after all the highs and lows is a testament to excellence, grit, and determination.”

An overcome Woods celebrated victory by embracing his family.

And his former coach Butch Harmon said on 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.”

Many were quick to ask if Woods’ victory was the greatest comeback in sporting history given the hurdles he has faced and overcome since winning the US Open in 2008.

Twenty-three time Grand Slam winner Serena Williams wrote on Twitter: “I am literally in tears watching @TigerWoods this is Greatness like no other. 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 thank you buddy.”

Three-time major winner Padraig Harrington said on BBC Sport: “There is not a golfer in the world that isn’t happy that Tiger Woods won. In the modern era he’s been a golf and sport superstar.

“This comeback story will break out from golf into all sports, the news. It will be everywhere.

“There will be people who have never looked at golf and will be seeing this tomorrow and wondering what it’s all about.”

Ian Poulter was looking for his first major title, but, after finishing five off the pace in a share of 12th, he could only tip his cap to Woods.

“It’s amazing, (given) what he’s been through,” Poulter said on Sky Sports.

“It’s amazing for the game, it’s amazing for him and very fitting that he’s putting that green jacket on today.

“It was special to play with him yesterday. He’s got a couple of loose shots, but even when he’s not at his best sometimes he’s incredible and this is another one of those moments.”

Brooks Koepka, who finished one shot behind Woods, added: “It’s amazing with everything he’s been through. It’s awesome to see.

“I think we all knew this was coming eventually.”

Commentating on the Masters for American broadcaster CBS, six-time major winner Nick Faldo said: “That will be the greatest scene in golf forever.

“We will never see anything as exhilarating as that.”

Phil Mickelson hailed Wood’s victory as a “special day that will go down in history”.

“What a great moment for the game of golf. I’m so impressed by @TigerWoods’ incredible performance, and I’m so happy for him to capture another Green Jacket,” he tweeted.

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