Tiger Woods relished the way his life had come “full circle” after celebrating his thrilling Masters victory with his children at Augusta National.
Woods famously embraced his late father Earl after winning his first Masters in 1997 and 22 years later he was the proud parent celebrating a fifth Green Jacket with son Charlie and daughter Sam.
“It’s unreal for me to experience this,” Woods said after a closing 70 gave him a one-shot victory, a 15th major title and his first since 2008.
“I couldn’t be more happy and excited, I’m kind of at a loss for words.
“To have my kids there, it’s come full circle. My dad was here in ’97 and now I’m the dad with two kids there.
“My little boy Charlie, that embrace is just special. Sam lost a State soccer tournament yesterday so I convinced her to come up and watch the Masters and luckily I was able to win.
“They were there last year at the Open Championship when I had the lead on that back nine and I made a few mistakes, cost myself a chance to win The Open title.
“I wasn’t going to let that happen to them twice so for them to see what it’s like to have their dad win a major championship, I hope that’s something they will never forget.
“Prior to my comeback they only knew that golf caused me a lot of pain. If I tried to swing a club I would be on the ground and I struggled for years, and that’s basically all they remember.”
Woods, who even suggested he might let his children take his green jacket to “show and tell” at school, had roared with delight after tapping in on the 18th green.
Just two years earlier he had needed a nerve blocker in order to attend the pre-tournament Champions Dinner and feared that his career was over.
“I’m a little hoarse I think from yelling,” the 43-year-old added. “It’s overwhelming because of what has transpired. Last year I was just lucky to be playing again, the previous dinner I was really struggling, I could barely walk.
“I missed a couple of years of this great tournament and to now be the champion… 22 years between wins (his first was in 1997) is a long time.”
Woods started the day two shots behind Open champion Francesco Molinari and only took the outright lead for the first time with a birdie on the 15th.
After almost making a hole-in-one on the 16th, the tap-in birdie doubled his lead and Woods added: “I was just trying to plod my way around all day, all of a sudden I had the lead coming up 18 trying to make a (bogey) five.
“When I tapped in I don’t know what I did, I just know I screamed, then I was looking for Joey (LaCava, his caddie) somewhere.
“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.
“It hasn’t sunk in at all. It’s going to take a little bit of time and I just can’t wait to see how it all unfolded from the TV perspective, because I know I was grinding hard trying to chase Francesco today, and then all of a sudden the leaderboard flipped and there were a bunch of guys up there who had a chance to win.
“I hit some of the best shots on that back nine today. You know, I felt like I just flushed it coming home, which was a nice feeling.”
Woods later thanked his supporters on Twitter, sharing a photograph of himself with the trophy and wearing the Green Jacket.
“I can’t thank my family, friends and fans enough for their support,” he tweeted.
“Having my family by my side today is something I will never forget. To not only be able to play again, but to be able to win again, is something I will forever be grateful for.
“This jacket sure is comfortable.”