Fallen hero, crippled star, and now a Masters champion once more.
Tiger Woods rallied to win the Masters for the fifth time Sunday, a comeback that goes properly past the two-shot deficit he erased earlier than a delirious viewers that watched recollections flip into actuality at Augusta Nationwide.
Woods had gone almost 11 years since he received his final main, 14 years since that inexperienced jacket was slipped over his Sunday purple shirt. He made it definitely worth the wait, closing with a 2-under 70 for a one-shot victory and setting off a scene of uncooked emotion.
He scooped up 10-year-old Charlie, born a 12 months after Woods received his 14th main at Torrey Pines within the 2008 U.S Open. He hugged his mom after which his 11-year-old daughter Sam, and everybody else in his camp that stood by him by a public divorce, an embarrassing DUI arrest from a concoction of painkillers and 4 again surgical procedures, the newest one simply two years in the past to fuse his decrease backbone.
“WOOOOOOO!!!” Woods screamed as he headed for the scoring room with chants of “Tiger! Tiger! Tiger” echoing as loud as any of the roars on the again 9 at Augusta Nationwide.
“It’s overwhelming, simply due to what has transpired,” Woods stated in Butler Cabin. “Final 12 months I used to be fortunate to be taking part in once more. On the earlier 12 months’s dinner, I used to be actually struggling. I missed a few years not taking part in this nice event. To now be the champion … 22 years between wins is a very long time. It’s unreal to expertise this.”
Woods misplaced his impeccable picture to a intercourse scandal, one of many swiftest and most surprising downfalls in sport.
He misplaced his well being to 4 again surgical procedures that left him unable to get off the bed, a lot much less swing a membership, and he went two years with out even taking part in a serious. It was two years in the past on the Masters when Woods stated he wanted a nerve block simply to stroll to the Champions Dinner. At the moment, he thought his profession is over.
Now the comeback is really full.
He wrapped his arms round his father when he received his first inexperienced jacket in 1997, altering the world of golf.
“Now I’m the dad with two children there,” he stated.
He needed his youngsters to see him win, as soon as saying they noticed him solely as a YouTube legend. They had been on the British Open when he had the lead briefly. They couldn’t make it to East Lake final September, when he received the Tour Championship for his first victory in 5 years.
“I wasn’t going to let that occur to them twice,” he stated. “To allow them to see what it’s wish to have their dad win a serious championship, I hope it’s one thing they’ll always remember.”
Woods received his 15th main, three wanting the usual set by Jack Nicklaus. It was his 81st victory on the PGA Tour, one title away from the profession file held by Sam Snead.
“A giant ‘properly carried out’ from me to Tiger,” Nicklaus tweeted. “I’m so glad for him and for the sport of golf. That is simply implausible!!!”
It was the primary time Woods received a serious when trailing going into the ultimate spherical, and he wanted some assist from Francesco Molinari, the 54-hole chief who nonetheless was up two photographs heading into the guts of Amen Nook.
And that’s when all hell broke free at Augusta.
Molinari’s tee shot on the par-3 12th by no means had an opportunity, hitting the financial institution and tumbling into Rae’s Creek for double bogey. Till then, Molinari had by no means trailed in a spherical that started early in threesomes to complete forward of storms.
After which it appeared as if virtually everybody had an opportunity.
Six gamers had a share of the lead in some unspecified time in the future on the again. With the ultimate group nonetheless within the 15th fairway, there was a five-way tie for the lead. And that’s when Woods seized management, once more with loads of assist.
Molinari’s third shot clipped a tree and plopped straight down within the water for one more double bogey. Woods hit onto the inexperienced, establishing a two-putt birdie for his first lead of the ultimate spherical.
The knockout punch was a tee shot into the 16th that rode the slope simply by the cup and settled 2 ft away for birdie and a two-shot lead with two holes to play.
Xander Schauffele didn’t birdie the par-5 15th and scrambled for pars the remainder of the way in which for a 68. Dustin Johnson made three straight birdies late within the spherical, however he obtained going too late and needed to accept a 68 and a return to No. 1 on the earth.
Brooks Koepka, certainly one of 4 gamers from the ultimate two teams who hit into the water on No. 12, rallied with an eagle on the 13th, narrowly missed one other eagle on the 15th and was the final participant with an opportunity. His birdie putt on the 18th from simply exterior 10 ft by no means had an opportunity, and he needed to accept a 70.
“You need to play in opposition to the very best to ever play,” Koepka stated. “You need to go toe-to-toe with them. I can go away saying I gave it my all. He’s simply good, man.”
Wooden completed at 13-under 275 and have become, at 43, the oldest Masters champion since Nicklaus received his sixth inexperienced jacket at 46 in 1986. That for years has stood as Augusta’s defining second.
This was one is certain to no less than rival it.
“That is undoubtedly, in all probability one of many best comebacks I feel anyone’s ever seen,” Koepka stated, earlier than rattling off Woods’ whole PGA Tour victories and 15 majors.
Is the Nicklaus file again in play?
“I feel 18 is an entire lot nearer than individuals suppose,” Koepka stated.
Koepka and Molinari each confronted Tigermania within the majors and held their very own, Molinari at Carnoustie to win the British Open, Koepka final summer season at Bellerive to win the PGA Championship.
Molinari went 49 straight holes with no bogey, a streak that ended on the seventh gap. It was the double bogeys that price him, and the Italian was gracious as ever in defeat.
“I feel I made a couple of new followers at this time with these double bogeys,” he stated.