Tiger roars back at Augusta National

Source:Reuters Published: 2019/4/15 20:23:41

Woods claims 5th Masters crown to end 11-year major title drought


Tiger Woods celebrates after sinking his putt to win during the final round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on Sunday in Augusta, Georgia. Photo: AFP

Tiger Woods completed one of sport's greatest comebacks to end an 11-year major title drought at the Masters on Sunday by claiming a fifth Green Jacket.

A gritty two-under 70 clinched a one-shot victory over Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Xander Schauffele and earned the 43-year-old a 15th ­major title that many thought would never come and instantly sparked talk of Woods making a run at Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 majors.

Not since the 2008 US Open had Woods hoisted a major trophy and the last of his four Augusta titles came in 2005.

But after a beaming Woods slipped on his fifth Green Jacket, he will be aware that Sunday's win has brought him tantalizingly close to another Nicklaus record - that of six Augusta titles.

The victory also marked the first time Woods had reached the winner's circle at major without leading after 54 holes 

and broke Gary Player's record (13 years) for the longest gap between Masters wins.

It also gave him 81 PGA Tour titles, one away from the career record held by Sam Snead.

Woods' girlfriend Erica Herman, mother Kultida and two children Sam and Charlie watched while a massive gallery roared as he marched up to the 18th green to put the finishing touches on a milestone victory.

When his final tap in bogey putt ­disappeared into the cup, Woods ­delivered one of his trademark fist pumps and then raised both arms in the air while screaming in absolute delight as the crowd chanted, "Tiger, Tiger, Tiger."

He then quickly spotted his family and raced over to hug his children before making his way to the scorers room while being congratulated by his fellow golfers who lined the way.

Along with coping with a number of injuries over the past decade, Woods also had to deal with the damage done from a very public and scandalous divorce and an embarrassing DUI arrest.

Written off as too old and too beaten up from four back surgeries and multiple knee operations, Woods underwent a back fusion procedure in 2017 and slowly returned to form.

He ended last season by winning the Tour Championship and showed signs of a breakthrough at the majors by being a title contender at last year's British Open, where he led in the final round, and PGA Championship, where he finished runner-up.

"I had serious doubts after what transpired a couple years ago," said Woods. "I could barely walk. I couldn't sit. Couldn't lay down. I really couldn't do much of anything.

"Luckily I had the procedure on my back, which gave me a chance at having a normal life.

"To have the opportunity to come back like this it is probably one of the biggest wins I've ever had for sure because of it."



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