Masters 2020: Tiger Woods gets emotional while looking back on 2019 victory at Augusta National

Tiger Woods has been many things over the course of his career, but one thing he has traditionally not been — at least not in public — is intimate. Woods will display all manner of emotions — anger, frustration, excitement, delight — but he very rarely lets his guard down and allows you into the part of him where fear, doubt and sentimentality all exist.

He did that on Tuesday at Augusta National Golf Club, however, when he was asked about his historic 15th major win and fifth green jacket last year, a one-stroke win over Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson and Xander Schauffele. It was a surreal day for those watching, and Tiger confirmed that it was just as surreal for him inside the ropes. 

“Well, it was just a fight and a grind, and just trying to hang in there, trying to make a dent in the lead,” said Woods. ” Frankie basically had control of it, and then No. 12 happened and everything flipped.  And you know, a few guys hit the ball in the water there. I didn’t. Made par there. Birdied 13. Birdied 15, 16.  

That was one of the most … I’m still getting chills just thinking about it … feelings, coming up 18 and knowing that all I have to do is just two-putt that little 15-footer and to see my family there and my mom and my kids and all of the people that helped support me or were there for me in the tough times. I was walking up there trying not to lose it, and still saying, ‘Hey, I’ve still got to two-putt this.’

Then I walked off the back of the green, to see Charlie there, just opened up our arms, it meant a lot to me and still does. It just reminded me so much of me and my dad, and to come full circle like that, it stills gives me … you know, a little teary.”

It’s one thing to read the words, and they’re great, but to watch the way he said it on Tuesday, the way he talked about winning and his son and his dad … man, it’s such a rare glimpse into someone who has given us so much to celebrate yet so little of himself over the past few decades. 

Not to get too crazy here, but this is going to be one of the moments of the week for me no matter what happens over the next five days. Tiger is probably never going to win another Masters or another major championship, and maybe we have to wait another 15-20 years until he truly opens up emotionally about certain parts of his career. So for something that felt so special, so unimaginable to also feel the same to him and to watch him try and put that into words, well, that’s pretty special in and of itself.

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