Past winners of the Masters gathered upstairs in the champions’ locker room because they understood what they were watching and knew they needed to do something special for Eldrick Tiger Woods. Bernhard Langer, Bubba Watson, Zach Johnson, Adam Scott — they all realized they could not just close up their lockers, say their goodbyes and jump into their luxury cars for a ride back to their privileged lives.
Langer, 61, was the group elder, the leader of the band. The former winners showered after their rounds, shared a drink and watched Woods play the 72nd hole on TV.
“We heard a big cheer,” Langer said, signaling the end of one of the greatest American sports stories ever told. “And we all said, ‘Let’s put our jackets on and go down there and congratulate him.’ And that’s what we did.”
Langer played in the 1986 Masters, won by 46-year-old Jack Nicklaus for his sixth green jacket and 18th and final major. Now here was the 43-year-old Woods winning jacket No. 5 and major No. 15 after a drought of 14 years for the Masters and a decade-plus for the majors. Langer wouldn’t rate one feat superior to the other, but he didn’t need to. The two-time Masters champ made sure he was wearing his green jacket when he shook Woods’ hand.
“This is a very special moment in the history of the game of golf, and of Augusta, and of Tiger himself,” Langer said.
Relive a historic day by watching the entire 2019 Masters Tournament broadcast online at https://t.co/VlktfZ6ALK.
— Masters Tournament (@TheMasters) April 15, 2019