- In what might be the greatest comeback in sports history, Tiger Woods outlasted a loaded leaderboard to win the 2019 Masters and win his first major in more than a decade.
AUGUSTA, Ga. — The wait is over—and the comeback is complete. Tiger Woods is a major champion once again.
Tiger shot a final-round 70 on Sunday at the Masters to claim his fifth green jacket and 15th major championship, his first since 2008. Woods trailed Francesco Molinari by two shots entering the final day, but used a vintage back-nine to claim the tournament, redemption and a victory many golf fans thought they would never see.
Woods picked up steam as the week progressed, shooting a two-under 70 in his first round and following it up with a four-under 68 on Friday to get within one of the lead. On Saturday, he kept pace with a loaded leaderboard flush with players going low, shooting a five-under 67 (including a 33 on the back) to put himself in position to contend.
But Sundays at the majors have historically belonged to Tiger—and he added a new chapter this week. After shooting a one-under 35 on the front, Tiger made birdie on the par-five 13th, par-five 15th and par-three 16th to seize control of the tournament and put distance between himself and the pack. Woods was aided by a collapse by Molinari, who suffered two double-bogeys on the back nine, dropping two balls in the water, including on No. 12. Woods would seize the lead, his first on a Masters Sunday since 2005.
Paired with Molinari and Tony Finau in the final group—in threesomes due to inclement weather—Woods was able to stare down the competition and outlast his biggest foes, a familiar sight around Augusta, but one that hadn't been seen in quite some time. Tiger's previous Masters wins came in 1997, 2001, 2002 and 2005. The 43-year-old becomes the second oldest Masters champion in history, trailing only Jack Nicklaus, who was 46 when he won in 1986. He also takes one step closer to Nicklaus' all-time record of 18 majors.
After making birdie on No. 16, Woods held a two-stroke lead on the field. He hit the fairway on No. 17 and made par, setting up quite the scene on No. 18 with fans lining every available inch of Augusta.Woods only needed bogey on No. 18 to secure the win. His drive was just off the right fairway and he played his approach shot safe, hitting a shot short of the right bunker. From there, he landed on the middle of the green and two-putted for the championship, outlasting Dustin Johnson, Xander Schauffele and Brooks Koepka by one stroke. Sunday's win marked the first time Tiger has won a major from behind entering the final round.
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