Tiger Woods is ready to attack the upcoming majors after ending his 11-year drought at the Masters on Sunday.
The 43-year-old completed a phenomenal comeback by claiming a 15th major title at Augusta National in front of the eyes of the world, winning one of golf’s showpiece events for the first time since the 2008 U.S. Open.
In the intervening period he battled a succession of injuries – a fourth back surgery in 2017 making him wonder if he would ever play again – and saw his reputation damaged by lurid revelations about his private life.
Woods had ended a five-year wait for a PGA Tour victory when he triumphed at the Tour Championship last September and spoke ahead of the Masters of how that experience would aid him.
Now, after delivering once again at the very top level, Woods is more certain than ever that he can kick on with Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 major wins well within sight.
“I can win majors now,” he told reporters with a smile.
“The win at East Lake was a big confidence booster for me because I had come close last year a couple times, still had to get it across the finish line and didn’t quite do it.
“I didn’t do it at Tampa [Valspar Championship]. I didn’t do it at the Open Championship. I was a little better at the PGA [US PGA Championship], but still I didn’t win.
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. pic.twitter.com/LsOUX2dWH1
— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) April 14, 2019
“East Lake was a big step for me, confirming that I could still win out here and against the best players. It’s obviously the hottest 30 guys for the year.
“To be able to do that against Rory [McIlroy] and Rosey [Justin Rose] there gave me a lot of confidence going into this year, and I said, you know, just keep building on it and let’s try to get the mind and body peaking towards Augusta.
“So my last three major championships have been pretty good, so that in itself gives me a lot of confidence going down the road.”
But despite the spectacular return to form, Woods will not alter his playing schedule this year. He is keen not to overwork a body that has suffered with repeated injuries.
“I’m not going to play as much as I did last year,” he said. “I played a little bit too much last year because I kept trying to qualify for World Golf Championships and events in the [FedEx Cup] Playoffs.
“The playing schedule doesn’t change. I’m going to play a little bit less than I did last year. I’ll just play in the tournaments and I’ll be fully invested and committed to playing and trying to win.”