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'It Was One Of The Iconic Moments In Sport... The Adrenalin Was Running Through Me'

'It Was One Of The Iconic Moments In Sport... The Adrenalin Was Running Through Me'
By Aonghus Ó Maicín Updated

Watching his friend of so many years sink the winning putt on Sunday at the US Masters, the poignancy of the moment wasn't lost on JP McManus.

The Limerick business tycoon's sporting 12 months has certainly been one to remember, watching his native county win a first All-Ireland title since 1973 and bringing home the usual haul of glory from the Cheltenham Festival in March.

Watching Tiger Woods don the green jack for a fifth time, however, was right up there with the rest of the moments in the McManus 2018/19 scrapbook.

Speaking to RTÉ 2fm's Game On, McManus maintained the American's Sunday performance will long be remembered:

It seemed to mean an awful lot to him yesterday, as it did for everybody who follows golf, like. This was one of the iconic moments in sport. People will remember where they were when Tiger won the Masters in 2019. Because it was the most remarkable comeback for a man that was beset by injuries. And, you know, 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.

I could feel the adrenalin running through me. Not like watching the All-Ireland last year or most events, but it was something else. No matter how short the putt was you were always worried it mightn't happen. I suppose knowing Tiger, it had to happen.

Having played with the 15-time major winner a lot over the years, in both a private capacity and at the JP McManus Invitational Pro-Am, McManus is better placed than most to provide an insight into Woods' enigmatic personality.

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Yet, the Limerick man still admitted he had doubts over his friend's ability to make a successful comeback to the biggest stage.

It was difficult [to see him winning again]. It juts shows the strength of character he has. In all through his golfing career, there was one thing about Tiger: Tiger, when he was playing, made some poor shots. Not many, but made some poor shots. But he never followed a poor shot with a mistake. So he always had that strength of mind to adjust pretty quickly to the situation he was in at the time. It's just so special and it's so good for golf, and the effect that it's had. I was looking today and Callaway shares were up four per cent and he plays with TaylorMade. It's just interesting.

McManus wasn't the only one that couldn't see the 43-year-old making such a marvellous comeback; a Woods renaissance seemed practically impossible for anybody who had kept up to date with the ageing star's injury travails.

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Even the man himself, in an interview with Time magazine in 2015, spoke of his doubts regarding a comeback.

He said:

I don’t think I’ll ever be 100 [per cent] healthy, but as close as you can to that point, that would be nice. As long as I don’t have the pain, then I don’t think there would be an issue. I will probably play through a little bit of pain, aches and pains, as you get older, you have more aches and pains. But I don’t need another surgery, period. Let’s just not go down that road ever again. No more surgeries. Seven’s enough. Four knees, three backs, that’s enough.

Four years on from a period when he struggled to get out of bed for a ten-minute walk on the beach, and history has been made. Again.

SEE ALSO: One Aspect Made Masters Victory Extra Special For Tiger Woods

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