Tiger Woods has won the 2019 Masters Tournament for his first major championship since 2008 and his first victory at Augusta National since 2005. The “Tiger roars” filled the hallowed Georgia course down the stretch on a Sunday for the first time in a long while as the golf legend completed a comeback from personal struggles and debilitating, nearly career-ending, injuries to climb back to the top of the golf world.
At the 18th green, Woods pumped his fist, threw his arms into the air and waved his hat to the adoring crowd as they chanted, “Tiger, Tiger, Tiger,” in a moment many did not think would ever come to fruition.
The 43-year-old Woods, now a father of two, has won 15 major tournaments, putting him three behind the legendary Jack Nicklaus. He has won the Masters five times, putting him one back of Nicklaus’ record of six. Woods’ victory sets the longest gap between wins at the Masters.
Woods had his children, his mother and girlfriend, Erica Herman, at Augusta on Sunday to watch him win a major championship for the first time. Other family members and friends joined the huge gallery of fans who followed Woods all Sunday as he came from behind to win the Masters.
Woods entered Sunday two shots behind leader Francesco Molinari. The Masters had a slightly different feel on this Sunday, as weather concerns led to tee times being moved up earlier in the day. Players hit the course in threesomes instead of pairings. But some things felt the same. Woods, clad in a red shirt on Sunday as always, showed the old fire and fight that led to him winning 14 major tournaments before the age of 33.
Things started slowly for Woods. Molinari, the reigning Open Champion, slipped up for the first time all Sunday at the 13th hole, hitting his tee shot into Rae’s Creek and double-bogeying to drop into a share of the lead.
As Molinari faltered, Woods held off several other surging contenders to take a dominant lead. After a bogey on the 10th hole, Woods sunk back-to-back pars and then turned up the heat. He birdied the 13th, parred the 14th and then delivered back-to-back birdies at the 15th and 16th.
At the 16th, Woods delivered the shot of his tournament, all but securing the green jacket. Woods hit a perfect 8-iron shot to drop the ball within 4 feet of the hole. Woods tapped in the birdie to extend his lead to two shots. Woods nearly put in another birdie on the 17th, but came up just short and tapped in for par.
Woods walked up to the 18th tee with a two-shot lead knowing it would take a disaster for him to not enter the clubhouse to receive his fifth green jacket. He two-putted his way to a bogey and the title, finishing at -13.
The victory was the first come-from-behind win at a major tournament for Woods. He said being in contention during the last two majors helped him prepare for Sunday.
“It’s been a while since I’ve been in contention here. But then again, (being in the mix to win) the last two majors counts for something,” he told reporters after his Saturday round.
Woods now has 81 career PGA Tour victories. He broke a five-year drought last September at The Tour Championship, winning his first tournament since 2013. That win and his strong play at past major tournaments appeared to open the door for Woods to stun the world and win at Augusta once again.
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