Tiger Woods, breaking an 11-year drought since his last major championship win, scored a dramatic come-from-behind victory at The Masters tournament on Sunday.
Woods won shot a 70 on the final day of the premier golfing event in Augusta, Georgia, to claim his first green jacket in 14 years and his fifth overall. He won the tournament by a single stoke, sinking a foot-long putt on the 18th hole and pumping his right fist before throwing his arms up in the air as tousands of fans on hand erupted in chants of “Tiger! Tiger! Tiger!”
The 43-year-old Woods teed off the day two strokes behind Italian Francesco Molinari, but by the 12th hole he was tied for the lead and jumped to the top of the leaderboard on his own on the 15th hole. He finished the tournament 13 under par.
Xander Schauffele, Duston Johnson and Brooks Koepka all tied for second, just one stroke behind Woods.
The victory marked Woods 15 major chapionship and his first since winning the 2008 U.S. Open at the Torrey Pines golf course in San Diego.
Woods last won The Masters in 2005.
His victory comes after four back surgeries that left him wondering in recent years if he could ever play again.
Woods entered the final round tied for second with Tony Finau, two strokes behind Francesco Molinari.
He finished the tournament with his signature fist pump and hugged his family members. When his final putt dropped on 18, Woods gave a fist pump with his right hand then lifted both arms overhead in joy. After sharing a hug with his caddie, Joe LaCava, Woods found his son, Charlie, who ran up and gave dad a big hug, followed by Tiger’s mom, Kutilda, his daughter, Sam, and girlfriend, Erica Herman.
“It’s come full circle. My dad was here in ’97 and now I’m the dad with two kids here,” Woods said.
‘What an extraordinary story’ – what they said
Among those watching avidly, President Donald Trump tweeted about the tournament, saying Woods “is looking GREAT!” and then congratulating him as “a truly Great Champion!”
Three-time major winner Padraig Harrington: “There is not a golfer in the world that isn’t happy that Tiger Woods won. In the modern era he’s been a golf and sport superstar. This comeback story will break out from golf into all sports and all the news. It will be everywhere. There will be people who have never looked at golf and will be seeing this and wondering what it’s all about.”
Former Ryder Cup captain Paul Azinger: “I never thought I’d see it. I thought he was done. He whispered to a champion at the Champions Dinner once that he was done. Since the fused back he has been a living, breathing, walking miracle. To perform at this level, it’s something you behold.”
18-time major winner Jack Nicklaus: “A big ‘well done’ from me to Tiger Woods! I am so happy for him and for the game of golf. This is just fantastic.”