"He always knew he could come back," says a source close to the golfer

By Steve Helling
April 17, 2019 01:29 PM

In the aftermath of Tiger Woodsbig win on Sunday, the golfer feels as though he has made a statement to the people who have doubted him over the years.

“Tiger feels like he has proven the critics wrong,” says a source close to the 43-year-old golfer. “There were so many people who thought he wouldn’t come back — couldn’t come back — but he did. Do you have any idea how good that feels?”

After Woods won the Masters Tournament again — his first Major title in 11 years — the professional golfer basked in his triumph. “Of all his majors, this is probably the one that makes him the proudest,” says the insider. “He’s just so happy.”

During the winner’s press conference, Woods opened up about how “special” it was to have his son Charlie Axel, 10, and daughter Sam Alexis, 11, there to witness his triumph after years of injuries and four back surgeries.

Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods
| Credit: TANNEN MAURY/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods with his children
| Credit: Aflo/REX/Shutterstock

“It means the world to me,” he said.

He continued to reporters, “Their love and their support, I just can’t say enough how much that meant to me throughout my struggles when I really just had a hard time moving around. Just their infectiousness of happiness; you know, I was going through a tough time physically. There was a lot of times when I really couldn’t move and so that in itself is difficult.”

“But just to have them there, and then now to have them see their Pops win, just like my Pops saw me win here, it’s pretty special,” he added with a smile.

Woods, who shares his children with ex-wife Elin Nordegren, saw his golf career suffer after a spate of health issues and surgeries. Additionally, his 2009 sex scandal caused him to lose some of his legendary focus on the course.

As he saw his ranking drop from #1 to #1,199, many people predicted that his career was over. But, according to the source, Woods never gave up hope.

“He always knew he could come back,” says the insider. “He knew that the skills were still there. He just needed to get physically strong and healthy, and he needed to focus on his mental game. Once he did that, he was on his way to his comeback.”