ALBANY, NASSAU: The last four starts at the annual Hero World Challenge have seen Tiger Woods in a different hue each time. From a comeback in 2016 that was soon aborted early in 2017, it became a proper comeback in 2017 that led a super run in 2018 and now in 2019, Woods stands at a position that propel him back to the very top, a place that he once owned.
Speaking on the eve of the 21st edition of the event, which since 2014 has been sponsored by Hero MotoCorp, Woods said, “Interestingly, when I have done well here it has acted like a springboard to my following season. Usually I have started on the west coast at Torey Pines. Successes at this event have kind of mirrored what I have done at Torey on west coast. This event really has been a kind of a springboard. Unfortunately, ‘16 wasn’t very good, I built on ‘17 and then ‘18 and now ’19. Its incredible what it was, when you look back, and what I went through. And here I am now in front of you, as Masters champion.”
Woods, who is also a Brand Ambassador for Hero since 2014, has also expressed great fondness for Pawan Munjal, the Chairman of the company, and thanked him for him backing him at that time.
Speaking of going back to Masters as champion again, he said, “It is never a bad thing as it has been incredible. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into when I first won in ‘97. To be able to sit there and listen to the jokes and the needling I received. And the needling I had to give back to Sam (Snead) and Byron (Nelson) and Gene Sarazen, all those guys.
“That was an incredible experience for me and now to have been part of it for so long in different ways. I have struggled physically and hadn’t played the Masters and been able to be champion five times.
He also admitted that he does look at getting to 18 Majors, a target he had in 2008 when he got to 14. Then injuries, personal crisis, surgeries et al halted his progress. It was until April, 2019 that winning machine roared again.