Rafa Cabrera-Bello Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Dubai: Rafa Cabrera-Bello, the Dubai-based golfer, was one of the first to offer his congratulations to Tigers Woods after the American clinched his 15th major title at The Masters in Augusta on Sunday.

The Spaniard, who finished tied-36th over the Augusta National course on Sunday alongside 2017 Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood and 2016 British Open champion Henrik Stenson, is in no doubt that Tiger’s triumph ranks alongside the best fightback stories in the history of sport.

“This is one of the greatest sporting comebacks ever,” he said after watching Tiger’s victory and celebrations on the 18th green at Augusta National in Georgia. “That is not only my opinion but that of the rest of the players around Augusta this weekend. It was electric out there. It was emotional, even for the other players watching on.”

Cabrera-Bello also believes that this triumph over adversity — given Woods’ personal problems and multiple operations to fuse his spine and allow him to even pick up a club again — illustrates the human side to a man often regarded as superhuman in the past, due to his achievement on the golf course.

“The other aspect we see here is Tiger has come out of this whole exercise appearing as somewhat human. You can see in his victory how much it meant to him — to his kids, himself and his mother. He just lapped it up. It is a very special win for him and a very special win for golf.

“Over here in America they are already calling it the greatest comeback in sporting history. That is something I don’t disagree with. Maybe there have been a few others but this has to be right up there as one of the greatest of all time. There is no question about that.”

Cabrera-Bello does not think it is beyond the realms of possibility for |Woods to now go on and beat Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 major titles.

“You can’t put anything past Tiger,” he said. “If you look at what he has done in his career and what he has done now, there is a chance. Maybe an outside chance but he is still fit. It is a mammoth task. To beat Jack he would still need to win another four majors, and there are only a couple of players still on tour who have won that many. So he is going to have to have one of the greatest careers — at the age of 43 — to try to beat Jack. But it is hard to predict anything with Tiger, it is so open-ended, given what he has done to come back, so we will just have to wait and see.”