Rafael Nadal won his fourth round match at the US Open on Monday night, and he captured victory in front of a packed Arthur Ashe Stadium that included one very special guest: Tiger Woods.
Woods and Nadal are both Nike-sponsored athletes in individual sports and among the best players in the history of their games. Tiger was really getting into things while cheering on his buddy:
Nadal, who beat Marin Cilic 6-3, 3-6, 6-1, 6-2, was asked in his post-match interview with ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi what it was like playing in front of Woods. Nadal was effusive with his praise for Woods.
“For me it’s a huge honor. To play in front of all of [the fans] is a huge honor, but to play in front of Tiger for me is a very special thing,” Nadal said. “I always said I never had big idols, but I have to say one idol is him. I always try to follow every shot he hit during the whole year. For me it’s a big pleasure to have him here supporting, means a lot. He’s a big legend of his sport, one of the legends of the sport. I want to congratulate him on one of the most amazing comebacks ever, winning the Masters this year.”
Rinaldi then asked Rafa if the two had ever played golf together, leading to a joke from the Spaniard.
“It’s much better if Tiger doesn’t see my swing.”
Woods was watching the match from a suite in the stadium. He was joined by his son, daughter and girlfriend Erica Herman.
The quarterfinals of the major are now set. Nadal will face Diego Schwartzman for a shot at reaching the semifinals.
Tiger Woods has enjoyed a great season in which he finally broke through and won another major, but his health is once again creating issues for him.
Woods withdrew from The Northern Trust — the first round of the FedExCup Playoffs — on Friday. The official reason listed is a “mild oblique strain that led to pain and stiffness,” which could help explain why he struggled so much at the tournament on Thursday.
Woods shot a 4-over 75 at Liberty National on Thursday. While he did not appear to show any signs of discomfort, he hinted that he was not feeling his best while speaking with reporters after the round.
“It just feels frustrating to shoot anything high no matter how I feel,” Woods said. “We had the perfect greens and had to go out there and shoot something under-par and get it going. Had to be 4-, 5-, 6-under par today. I went the other way with it.”
Tiger entered The Northern Trust 28th in the FedExCup Standings, and he is secure for the BMW Championship next week even after withdrawing. It remains to be seen if his health will cooperate enough, however.
Woods has had numerous back surgeries and dealt with several injuries in recent years, and there was some speculation that he was in pain at The Open Championship last month. He admitted more than two years ago that he will never be back to 100 percent health, so playing through injuries is something he has grown accustomed to at age 43.
Tiger Woods has battled back from a number of significant injuries over the past several years to regain his spot as one of the top golfers in the world, and the concern that he might be hurt again began immediately at The Open Championship on Thursday.
Woods appeared to grimace on his first tee shot at Portrush. The shot was pulled and ended up in the tall fescue, so it’s possible he was just unhappy with the swing. Still, Golf Channel broadcaster Nick Faldo and others saw it as a cause for concern.
For what it’s worth, Tiger ended up making an excellent par after his second shot ended up in a bunker.
Tiger has chosen not to play much since he won the Masters back in April, and that has led to speculation that he could be hurting and trying to allow himself as much recovery time as possible. When you consider what he said about his injuries a while back, it’s possible experiencing some pain from time to time is simply the norm for him at this point.
One of the greatest golfers of all time sent a gift to one of the greatest baseball players of all time.
According to media members covering the Los Angeles Angels, Mike Trout had a long box by his locker inside Angel Stadium on Thursday. The Los Angeles Daily News says the box contained two TaylorMade golf clubs.
Trout has never met Woods and was unsure how he got on the golfer’s mailing list, but he appreciated the clubs. He also told reporter JP Hoornstra that he’s a “big fan” of the golfer.
Tiger is coming off a win at the Masters last month, marking his 15th career major win and first since 2008. His huge achievement was recognized by athletes and teams across sports, with one squad even delaying things to watch him play.
Trout, a two-time AL MVP, is regarded as the best player in baseball and signed a $426 million contract extension that showed his value.
Woods, who is from Orange County (where the Angels play) is actually a Los Angeles Dodgers fan. But that probably won’t bother Trout, who has to feel good about getting a gift from the famous golfer.
Here’s another thing Tiger Woods wouldn’t have been able to do the last time he won a major championship: tweet about it.
Woods shared a message with fans on Sunday after winning the Masters, thanking his family, friends, and fans for their support, adding that the opportunity to win another major was “something I will forever be grateful for.”
The family aspect is a very meaningful one for Woods, as his golf career came full circle in a way with his accomplishment on Sunday. This is a day he will certainly never forget.
Tiger Woods captivated the entire sports world by winning his first major title in 11 years on Sunday. That included the two-time defending NBA champions.
After Woods won his fifth career Masters and 15th major overall, Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr said that the team delayed their film session to watch the PGA superstar’s performance, per Anthony Slater of The Athletic.
That is certainly no small deal with the Warriors currently in the middle of a playoff series against the LA Clippers, which speaks to the draw that the 43-year-old Woods still has.
Woods got some love from another defending champion after the impressive W as well, and it’s a reminder that he can produce buzz and excitement like no other athlete truly can.
Tiger Woods stole the show with his win at the Masters on Sunday, but not too far behind was Tom Brady.
The New England Patriots quarterback, often considered by many to be the greatest quarterback, if not football player, ever, was tweeting throughout the final day of the major. He sent some tweets of support for Tiger and other players:
But he really took his Twitter game to another level after Tiger won. Brady congratulated Tiger on the performance.
Then came the great tweet — he joked about how long it would take him to get to 15 Super Bowl rings.
If there were four Super Bowls available to win each year, Brady might have gotten there. For now, he’ll have to settle for his six rings — the most ever by a player.
There were plenty of people who thought Tiger Woods would never win another major championship, but the 43-year-old had no shortage of confident supporters heading into the Masters this year. For evidence of that, all you have to do is follow the money.
Nick Bogdanovich, the director of trading at the William Hill US, said after Tiger won the Masters that Sunday was the “biggest golf loss ever” for the sportsbook. One bettor won $1.19 million after betting $85,000 on Woods, and there were plenty of others who took home bundles of cash.
At 14-to-1, Woods was tied for the third-best odds to win the Masters before the tournament began. Rory McIlroy was the favorite at 8-to-1, and Dustin Johnson was slightly better than Tiger at 13-to-1. Barring an injury or some unforeseen circumstance, that is not going to happen again.
Based on what Johnson and others said about the support Tiger got at Augusta National, it’s no surprise he had plenty of financial backers as well.
Life has come full circle for Tiger Woods.
22 years ago, in 1997, Woods won the Masters for his first career major. He was just 21 at the time, had recently turned pro, and became the youngest Masters winner ever. Woods celebrated his first career major win by hugging his late father Earl, who died in 2006.
22 years later, in 2019, Woods overcame an 11-year major slump to win his 15th career major. He won at Augusta National once again for his fifth career Masters. This time, his father Earl was no longer around. Instead, Tiger celebrated with his son, Charlie, who never met Earl and had never witnessed his father win a major.
“I’m at a loss for words,” Tiger said of the situation. “My little boy Charlie … the embrace, it’s just special.”
Tiger is now 43 years old and still has time to try and tie Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 career majors. Jack has already offered his support to Tiger. For now, fans will enjoy Tiger finally being back on top.
Jim Nantz often plans out his lines for when something big happens in a sporting event he calls, which is why many were wondering what he would say upon Tiger Woods winning his first major since 2008. Well, Woods won the Masters on Sunday, and we learned what Nantz’s call would be: “return to glory.”
Take a listen to the big moment:
This was Tiger’s fifth career Masters win and 15th major win overall, triggering an outpouring of fan support and celebration. He’s now three majors behind Jack Nicklaus, who offered a message of support for Woods.