Tiger Woods completed one of the greatest comebacks in sporting history on Sunday as he ended his 11-year wait for a major title by winning the Masters.
Woods’ days as a major contender looked to be over for a long time due to problems in his personal life and a persistent back injury, but he has managed to turn his game around having at one point slipped outside the world’s top 1,000 players.
Here, Press Association Sport take a look at the people who have stood by Woods and were at Augusta National to celebrate his 15th major crown over the weekend.
Woods’ mother travelled to Augusta from Florida on Sunday morning and watched proceedings from the clubhouse for the most part. She was joined in the grill room by a growing crowd as players who had finished their rounds watched the closing stages. Kultida – also known as Tida – then made her way out to the 18th green to congratulate her son as he wrapped up his famous victory.
It has been so long since Woods last enjoyed a major victory that neither of his children would have remembered him as a winner of one of golf’s showpiece events. Daughter Sam was less than a year old for Woods’ triumphs at the 2007 US PGA Championship and 2008 US Open, while son Charlie – born in 2009 – had not been alive to see his father win a major until Sunday. Both children are from Woods’ marriage to Elin Nordegren.
Woods’ return to the top of his game has coincided with an apparently settled period in his personal life. Woods has been dating Herman since late 2017, the pair first seen together as a couple at that year’s Presidents Cup. Herman works in the restaurant industry and managed Woods’ pop-up eatery, The Woods, in Florida. She was at the Tour Championship to celebrate Woods’ first PGA Tour win for five years in September and celebrated the end of another drought in Augusta on Sunday, having been in attendance for the duration of the tournament.
Only one person may know Tiger's swing as well as he does.March 14, 2019
Sam and Charlie watched their father’s victorious final round in the company of McNamara, having travelled up with their grandmother earlier in the day. McNamara is one of Woods’ closest friends and a vice-president at the 43-year-old’s TGR Ventures. McNamara and the children joined Kultida in the clubhouse when Woods hit the back nine, as Sam and Charlie “had a tough time seeing”. They rushed to greet their father when the win was in the bag.
"We did it." pic.twitter.com/RKgSorDpFr— Masters Tournament (@TheMasters) April 14, 2019
LaCava is a former caddie of both Fred Couples and Dustin Johnson and has been on Woods’ bag since 2011. He became the permanent successor to Steve Williams, who had worked alongside Woods since 1999 and helped him to 13 major titles. LaCava was among the first to embrace Woods on the 18th green, after he had been congratulated by Tony Finau, Francesco Molinari and their caddies.
Steinberg has represented Woods through the highs and lows of his career, having worked as his agent since 1998. The role has seen Steinberg play a key role in securing Woods’ numerous and lucrative endorsement deals, but he also had to deal with the loss of several of those contracts following a series of scandals. Steinberg watched Sunday’s action from the clubhouse.
Great to see PR man extraordinaire Glenn Greenspan get a big hug from Tiger Woods. He learned well from Mark Carlson when Florida State was blessed to have both of them. Forget Tiger. I’d read Glenn’s book.— Phil Rogers (@philgrogers) April 14, 2019
Woods’ spokesman since 2008, Greenspan previously worked as director of communications for Augusta National and the Masters. Like Steinberg, Greenspan has faced challenging periods during his time working with Woods, but his loyalty was rewarded with Sunday’s crowning moment, and he was on hand with a big hug for his client and friend after the victory was sealed.
- Press Association