'Return of the King': How the world reacted to Tiger Woods' comeback glory at The Masters

Telegraph Sport
The Telegraph
The New York Daily News, L'Equipe, and The Telegraph
The New York Daily News, L'Equipe, and The Telegraph

Tiger Woods is back. His triumph at The Masters on Sunday was lauded around the world as among "the greatest comebacks in the world".

The 43-year-old's remarkable fifth Masters title saw him resume his pursuit of the all-time majors record.

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Woods' 15th major title, secured by one shot at Augusta, came 11 years after his last, a period during which he has undergone multiple back surgeries and faced personal problems which had threatened to end his career.

Here's how the world reacted to his remarkable turnaround in fortunes.

How the golf world reacted

Xander Schauffele ended up being beaten by Woods, but the player couldn't help being pleased for champion.

Playing in only his second Masters, Schauffele  was alone atop the leaderboard for a brief moment during the late stages of the final round on Sunday.

Schauffele, who was playing two groups ahead of Woods, ended up one shot back of the five-times champion and when asked about the experience at Augusta National was anything but bitter.

"Like a dream, honestly," said the 25-year-old Schauffele. "It's what I watched as a kid. It's what I watched growing up. Just everything about it, and for me to be a part of it and give it a good run ... it was an incredible experience today.

"It's hard to really feel bad about how I played, just because I just witnessed history. It was really cool coming down the stretch, all the historic holes, Amen Corner, 15, 16, Tiger making the roars."

<span>Xander Schauffele of the U.S. looks at the pin on the 18th green</span> <span>Credit: Reuters </span>
Xander Schauffele of the U.S. looks at the pin on the 18th green Credit: Reuters

Eighteen-time major winner Jack Nicklaus said Woods had him "shaking in his boots". While Woods had himself suggested he would never again contend for a major, Nicklaus said he always expected Woods to come back.

"I felt for a long time he was going to win again," Nicklaus told The Golf Channel. "And, you know, the next two majors are at Bethpage, where he's won (2002 US Open), and Pebble Beach, where he's won (2000 US Open). So, you know, he's got me shaking in my boots, guys."

Woods' great rival and Ryder Cup team-mate Phil Mickelson also congratulated him, cheekily suggesting a rematch of the US dollar nine million challenge match they played last November - which Mickelson won.

"What a great moment for the game of golf," Mickelson wrote. "I'm so impressed by Tiger Woods' incredible performance, and I'm so happy for him to capture another Green Jacket.

"Truly a special day that will go down in history. Congratulations, Tiger! £rematch"

Woods' former coach Butch Harmon said "he had never seen him show emotion like that". 

"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 told Sky Sports.

"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."

Six-time major winner Nick Faldo was commentating on CBS in the United States, and said: "That will be the greatest scene in golf forever. We will never see anything as exhilarating as that."

<span>Masters champion Tiger Woods receives his Green Jacket from Nick Faldo in 1997</span> <span>Credit: AP </span>
Masters champion Tiger Woods receives his Green Jacket from Nick Faldo in 1997 Credit: AP

Padraig Harrington, a three-time major winner, 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."

How world of sport reacted

It wasn't just current and former golfers who were delighted for Woods.

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who won a record sixth Super Bowl this past February, joked that he was plotting how to match the number of major golf championships Woods has now accumulated .

"Running the numbers on how long it'll take me to get to 15..."

Brady explained his non-stop tweeting, saying the final round of the Masters was his only "couch day of the year."

In the NBA, LeBron James said he was "inspired" by the win.

Golden State's Stephen Curry called it the "greatest comeback story in sports."

Even Serena Williams took a break from partying at tennis player Caroline Wozniacki's bachelorette party in the Bahamas to congratulate Woods .

"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."

Magic Johnson congratulated the golfer, saying the "roar of the Tiger is back". 


Presidents hail comeback

Donald Trump, who's visited his branded golf courses more 150 times since taking office, watched Woods cruise toward victory from his course in Virginia.

"Watching final hole of @TheMasters. @TigerWoods is looking GREAT!"

A moment later, after Woods' final putt dropped on 18, the US president added from the presidential limousine : "Love people who are great under pressure. What a fantastic life comeback for a really great guy!"

His predecessor, Barack Obama, also congratulated Woods. 

"To come back and win the Masters after all the highs and lows is a testament to excellence, grit, and determination," he said.

How media reported triumph


In the UK, the triumph of Woods covered the front pages as well as the back. 

Daily Telegraph

The Telegraph's Paul Hayward said the feat transcended sport. "Not many of us get to make points about family life by seizing the Masters, 14 years after we last won it," he wrote. "But the greatest victories - certainly the best comebacks - are the ones everyone feels they can take something from. They speak beyond sport, to life, how it turns against us, and how sometimes we can turn it back in our favour. In that spirit, Tiger Woods winning the Masters again was a universal turnaround."

<span>Telegraph Sport</span>
Telegraph Sport


The Guardian also ran it prominently on the front and back pages, calling the comeback the "Return of the King".


The Times called it "A Walking Miracle". 

The Scotsman

North of the border, The Scotsman called it "the ultimate sporting comeback".


The Independent declared it the "return of a master".

United States

Across the pond in the Big Apple, the New York Daily News called Woods the "Grand Master'. 

USA Today called it the "stuff of legends" as it declared "Triumph of Tiger".

In the New York Times, Bill Pennington said it was "among the greatest comebacks in sports history". The writer pointed to one moment in particular that showed the Woods of old was back.

"Woods walked over the Hogan bridge and stood defiantly on the 12th green glaring back at Finau and Molinari as they dejectedly stood on the other side of the water, rummaging through their bags for another ball and club to once again try to traverse the creek," he wrote.

"Woods was in their line of sight, standing with his arms crossed or one hand on his hip. He continued to stare in their direction with an expression that seemed to say: 'Can you hurry up? I’ve got a tournament to win'."

"Tiger roars to Masters victory," the Miami Herald reported on its front page. 

<span>Miami Herald</span>
Miami Herald


The Irish papers also heaped praise on Woods on the front pages.

The Irish Times said Woods was "the master again".

<span>The Irish Times</span>
The Irish Times

The Irish Independent showed a celebrating Woods on the front page while the Irish Examiner said: "It still fits." 

<span>Irish Independent</span>
Irish Independent
<span>Irish Examiner</span>
Irish Examiner


L'Equipe used just one word to describe Woods on its front page: "Giant."




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