Having made one of the greatest sporting comebacks earlier this year, American golf icon Tiger Woods says he is at peace with himself and not in hot pursuit of the three Majors that would tie him with the legendary Jack Nicklaus.
In April, the 43-year-old won his 15th major title, the first time he did that after not leading the pack, heading into the final round. It was also his first win at Majors since the US Open in 2008.
His countless fans started believing more that he would actually equal Nicklaus’ record 18 titles when he won a record equalling 82nd PGA Tour title in Japan in October to go level with Sam Snead.
However, Woods is not losing sleeping over adding another one to his Majors tally. “It has taken Jack a lifetime to get there, until he was 46. I’m just proud of what I’ve done, to come back from where I came back from to win another major championship but also to do it in a different way,” Woods told a select group of media in Nassau (Bahamas) on Monday.
“I’ve finally come from behind to win a Major championship, I finally know that I can do that now. I had never done it; 14-1 (leading into the final round at Masters) is not a bad record but I had never done it this way,” he said.
Ahead of the Hero World Challenge beginning on Wednesday, Woods recollected the fond memories from Augusta.
“I sat down and watched it with Joe (his caddie). He came down to do a TV spot then he and I just sat there, had a few beers and watched it. We spoke about the conversations what we had over each shot; some of our friends and family who were there were like ‘Oh my God, you guys really talked about that?’
“We were running through all the scenarios, Joe looking at the boards, I am looking at the boards. We were trying to figure out what was going on; who birdied what, who was making a move,” he added.
“We were having those discussions in the fairway about what we needed to do while still staying focussed about executing. So, it was a lot of fun seeing it back and sharing it with Joe because he has been through all the tough time with me as well as the good times.”
Asked how it will be when he goes back to Augusta next year, Woods said: “I didn’t know what I was getting myself into when I first (Masters) won in ‘97. To be able to sit there and listen to the jokes and the needling I received.
“That was an incredible experience for me...I have struggled physically and hadn’t played the Masters and been able to be champion five times. It’s a pretty exclusive club and you have to earn your way into it. And there is nothing better than that dinner. It is one of the hardest dinners you have to get into.”
Woods, who has had to endure four back surgeries, knows he is not getting younger, making planning for a season all the more important.
“Last year was out first crack at it and, talking to some of the guys after the Tour Championship (first win since 2013), over the next few years you will see guys make adjustments and see what is best for them and their schedule.
“They will play in the events they want to and try to win the tournaments they want to win. It is tough. It puts more importance when you do play. We can’t take the breaks we want throughout the year, so it is different,” he said.