Los Angeles -Tiger
Woods believes he can still catch Jack Nicklaus and his record of 18
major titles after ending a decade-long drought with a win for the ages
at Augusta National.
The 43-year-old stunned the sporting world this month by completing
an epic comeback from spinal fusion surgery to capture his 15th major
and his first since the 2008 US Open.
A 2009 sex scandal followed by knee and back injuries that required
seven operations had led to a prolonged wait to add another major title
to his honours.
But his fairytale fifth green jacket has put Woods firmly back in pursuit of the all-time record of 18 major wins by Nicklaus.
"I always thought it was possible, if I had everything go my way," Woods said in an interview with streaming service GOLFTV.
"It took him an entire career to get to 18, so now that I've had
another extension to my career - one that I didn't think I had a couple
of years ago - if I do things correctly and everything falls my way,
yeah, it's a possibility.
"I'm never going to say it's not. Except for a couple of years ago when I couldn't walk.
"Now I just need to have a lot of things go my way, and who's to say
that it will or will not happen? That's what the future holds, I don't
know. The only thing I can promise you is this: that I will be
Woods prevailed by one stroke on a dramatic final day at Augusta,
remarkably his first major victory in which he did not lead after 54
A double-bogey by
leader and British Open champion Francesco Molinari at the 12th gave
Woods an opening to erase a two-shot deficit. The American birdied three
of the next four holes to surge clear from a pack of contenders.
"It went from a one-horse race with all of us kind of chasing
Francesco, to now Pandora's box is now opened up playing 13, where right
now there's at least seven with a legitimate chance to win the
tournament with six holes to go," Woods recalled.
Asked whether his achievement had sunk in, he replied: "No, honestly it hasn't. It's hard to believe.
"Every now and again, I'll look over there on the couch and there's the jacket. Yeah, I did pull it off."
It was the first time daughter Sam Alexis, 11, and son Charlie, 10,
had seen their famous father win a major title except in videos.
The moment allowed Woods, who famously hugged his late father Earl
off the 18th green at Augusta after his first major win in 1997, to
re-enact the moment but this time as the father, hugging his kids.
"They never knew golf to be a good thing in my life and only the only
thing they remember is that it brought this incredible amount of pain
to their dad," said Woods.
"And so to now have them see this side of it, the side that I've
experienced for so many years of my life, but I had a battle to get back
to this point, and it feels good."
Woods was expected to return to action at the May 2-5 Well Fargo
Championship in Charlotte, North Carolina, but organizers told a
Charlotte radio station Friday that the golfer would not be taking part.
Friday was the last day Woods could commit to the event. Woods is now
not likely to return to competition until the May 16-19 PGA
Championship, the next major on the golf calendar.