17 JUNE 2008

American golf sensation Tiger Woods battled searing pain in his knee and a gruelling final play-off prompted by a level finish to claim his third US Open title. After sinking the shot that clinched him what he described as the best victory of his career, the gleaming trophy wasn't the first thing he reached for, however.

Overflowing with emotion, the 32-year-old sports star held out his arms to take his daughter Sam from his Swedish wife Elin. Tiger hugged the tot - who has a shock of dark blonde hair – and planted a victorious kiss on her cheek.

The tender family moment came as Tiger celebrated a comeback win in San Diego during his first competition since undergoing knee surgery in April. While sharing the special moment with his little girl - who turns one on Wednesday - his thoughts also turned to his late father and mentor Earl.

"I now know why my dad got so emotional… when I won," he said.

Photo: © Alphapress.com
The emotional golf ace celebrates his US Open win in San Diego with a hug from his daughter Sam Photo: © Getty Images
Photo: © Alphapress.com
Proud wife Elin was on hand to share in the special victory – Tiger's return to professional competition after undergoing surgery on his knee in April Photo: © Rex
Photo: © Alphapress.com
The tender family moment turned the 32-year-old sports star's thoughts to his late father Earl. "I now know why my dad got so emotional… when I won," he said Photo: © Getty Images
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