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'It wasn't like the All-Ireland but it was something else' - McManus thrilled for friend Woods

The Limerick native says that the 43-year-old’s victory at Augusta National was ‘one of the iconic moments in sport.’

Woods alongside McManus at the 2000JP McManus Invitational Pro Am.
Woods alongside McManus at the 2000JP McManus Invitational Pro Am.
Image: Tom Honan/INPHO

JP MCMANUS SAYS watching his close friend Tiger Woods win his fifth Masters crown was “one of the iconic moments in sport.”

Woods completed one of the greatest-ever comebacks by winning at Augusta National for the first time since 2005, following a period in which he was plagued by injuries and faced well-documented problems in his personal life.

The 43-year-old is a close friend of racehorse owner McManus, and the Limerick native was thrilled to see him overcome those setbacks to claim his 15th Major.

However, he jokingly admitted that it didn’t quite eclipse the joy he felt when seeing the Limerick hurlers end a 45-year wait for the Liam MacCarthy Cup last year.

“I could feel the adrenaline running through me,” he told RTÉ 2FM’s Game On.

It wasn’t like watching last year’s All-Ireland, but like most events, it was something else.

“No matter how short the putt [to win] was, you were always worried it mightn’t happen. But knowing Tiger, it had to happen.

“It seemed to mean an awful lot to him, as it did to everybody who follows golf.

“This was one of the iconic moments in sport where people will remember where they were when Tiger won the Masters in 2019.

Masters Tournament 2019 - Day Four - Augusta National Golf Course Woods raises his hands in triumph. Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

“It’s just so special and it’s so good for golf and the affect that it had.

“It was the most remarkable comeback for a man who was besought by injuries. His strength of character and mind to do that, after being in the wilderness, or out of the limelight I should say for a long time.”

Woods was two shots adrift of Francesco Molinari on the final day of the Masters, but he rallied to victory and finished on a winning score of 13-under par in the end.

The title was still up for grabs towards the end of the final round, with five players sharing the lead at 12-under par before Woods birdied the 15th to pull clear.

“He always had that strength of mind to adjust pretty quickly to the situation he was in at the time,” said McManus when remarking on the strength of Woods’ mental resolve.

People who are playing with him out there get a little intimidated to see Tiger’s name on the leaderboard. I think he broke down Francesco [Molinari] eventually. It was hard to stay with him. Tiger is just different.

“You often look at events and you see who plays with Tiger. They play with Tiger the first two days, and you generally find in the third round, they fall apart because they’ve probably played well when they’re playing with Tiger, but when they get away from Tiger and have to play the next day they find it very, very difficult to lift their game.

“It affects them.”

Woods confirmed last year that he will play at the JP McManus Pro-Am event at Adare Manor again in July 2020, and McManus is looking forward to welcoming the golf sensation to his home county.

“It’s exciting to have Tiger, he committed to playing and announced he was playing after Limerick won the All-Ireland which made it a great week for us.”

You can listen to the full interview here.

Source: RTÉ2fm/SoundCloud

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