AUGUSTA, Ga., April 8 -- All week, Tiger Woods kept insisting he was not even thinking about winning his fourth straight major championship while playing in the Masters. All he wanted, he said, was to claim another green jacket that goes to the winner.
But when he finally added the first major championship of 2001 to the last three of 2000, he was momentarily overcome by emotion. Once he had made the 20-foot birdie putt that clinched the victory, and while playing partner Phil Mickelson was finishing his work on the 18th green, Woods took off his cap and hid his face with it.
"I did start losing it a little bit," Woods admitted. "When I made the putt, I walked over to the side and I started thinking, 'I don't have any more shots to play. I'm done. I won the Masters.'
"It is really very special. I have more appreciation for winning major championships than I did earlier. To win four in a row, that's hard to believe. You have to have some luck, have to get some good breaks. Some golfing gods must be looking down on me.
"How long will the streak go on? We'll find out in June (when he defends his U.S. Open title)."
As for his becoming tearful after winning Sunday, Woods, who now has six major championships and 27 PGA Tour events at the ripe old age of 25, said that is nothing new.
"I've done it before," he said. "I've cried after wins and I've cried after defeats. A lot of different things went through my head."
With the $1,008,000 he got Sunday, Woods has his earnings for this season up to $3,264,000 and his career golf earnings are now nearly $24 million in his sixth year as a touring pro.
Woods said he never dreamed of winning four major championships in a row.
"I don't think we as kids ever think of doing things like that," he said. "I think we think of winning major championships and competing against the best players in the world and enjoying that. But I don't think four bever entered because youneed to win one in order to win four."