President Donald Trump called it a “fantastic life comeback” after golfing legend, Tiger Woods, won his 15th major tournament and fifth Masters championship on Sunday after nearly 11 years and many personal and professional struggles since the last time he lifted a title.
“Love people who are great under pressure. What a fantastic life comeback for a really great guy!” Trump said in a congratulatory tweet after Woods’ win in Augusta, Georgia.
Former President Barack Obama also publicly acknowledged Woods’ win in a tweet praising the golfer’s “grit, and determination.”
“Congratulations, Tiger! To come back and win the Masters after all the highs and lows is a testament to excellence, grit, and determination,” Obama wrote.
Woods became the second-oldest winner of the Masters title at age 43 on Sunday. The oldest player to win the title is Jack Nicklaus in 1986 at 46.
Two years after his father Earl died, Tiger Woods won the United States Open in 2008 while nursing a left leg that needed surgery. A year later however, a marital dispute over his infidelity led to an infamous car accident and successive bad press. He divorced in 2010.
In the years that followed, Woods endured a number of back surgeries which led to an addiction to painkillers. Then in 2017, he was arrested and charged for Driving Under the Influence in Florida.
“It’s overwhelming just because of what has transpired,” Woods said after his victory on Sunday. “To now be the champion — 22 years between wins is a long time — it’s unreal for me to experience this. It was one of the hardest I’ve ever had to win just because of what’s transpired the last couple of years.”
He explained that during his dark times he gained strength from his children’s “infectious happiness.”
“To have my kids here it’s come full circle,” he said. “My dad was here in ‘97 and now I’m the dad with two kids there.”
He went on to thank his family and supporters later in a statement on Twitter.
“I can’t thank my family, friends and fans enough for their support. 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,” Woods wrote.
Many other sports icons like tennis legend Serena Williams also praised Woods for his inspirational comeback.
“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,” tweeted Williams.
“I don’t know what else to say other than thank you @TigerWoods …You inspired my generation… Today you had a bunch of dads reliving their youths with their kids… You inspired another… @TheMasters brings out the best in golf and the best in the greats of the game..,” wrote Brandt Snedeker, nine-time PGA Tour winner and 2012 FedEx Cup Champion.
“Very few people really know what @TigerWoods has been thru to get back to this point. So cool seeing him with Tida, Sam, Charlie, Erica and the rest of the team behind 18 green. Couldn’t be happier for him! What a great day for golf!” wrote Irish golfer Rory McIlroy on Twitter.