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Sunday, 14 April 2019
Tiger Woods being awarded the Green Jacket by reigning Masters champion Patrick Reed (L)   (Getty Images)
Tiger Woods being awarded the Green Jacket by reigning Masters champion Patrick Reed (L) (Getty Images)

Tiger Woods completed one of the greatest comebacks in sporting history to win an emotional 15th Major Championship at the Masters Tournament.

The American last won one of golf's big four events at the U.S. Open 11 years ago and since then has undergone numerous back surgeries, falling to 1,199th in the Official World Golf Ranking just 17 months ago.

A return to fitness brought a stunning 2018 with top tens in The Open Championship and US PGA Championship, and a closing 70 at Augusta National Golf Club secured a fifth Green Jacket at the scene where he burst onto the world stage in 1997.

Woods' record 12 shot victory 22 years ago set in motion a remarkable run of dominance at the top of the game, and the 43 year old will now once again have his sights set on Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 Major Championships.

Wild celebrations followed a bogey on the last which moved him to 13 under, a shot clear of countrymen Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Xander Schauffele.

Overnight leader Francesco Molinari had been right in the mix before finding water twice on the back nine, and the Race to Dubai Champion finished at 11 under alongside Australian Jason Day and Americans Tony Finau and Webb Simpson.

This is the first time Woods has come from behind after 54 holes to win a Major and he becomes just the second player after Nicklaus to win the Masters in three different decades, and to win Major Championships 20 or more years apart.

“It’s overwhelming because of what has transpired," Woods said before Patrick Reed presented him with Green Jacket in the Butler cabin. "Last year I was just lucky to be playing again, the previous dinner I was really struggling, missed a couple of years of this great tournament and to now be the champion, 22 years between wins, is a long time.

“It’s unreal for me to experience this. I couldn’t be more happy and excited, I’m kind of at a loss for words.

“To have my kids there, it’s come full circle. My dad was here in 97 and now I’m the dad with two kids there.”

It’s unreal for me to experience this. I couldn’t be more happy and excited - Tiger Woods

Woods did well to save par after going left off the second tee and put an approach to eight feet on the third to get within one of Molinari.

He came up short on the fourth and three putted the fifth to make two bogeys but he was back within one as he put an approach to two feet on the seventh and got up and down from over the back of the eighth.

A ragged tee shot on tenth dropped him two back again but when Molinari found the water on the 12th for a double bogey, Woods was in a share of the lead.

Schauffele joined a share of top spot with a birdie on the 13th but Patrick Cantlay eagled the 15th to briefly leapfrog everybody before dropping shots on the 16th and 17th.

Woods slipped on the tee at the 13th but still found the fairway to take advantage of the par five and join Schauffele - who had holed an 11 footer for birdie on the 14th - in the lead, with Molinari also making a gain.

Johnson birdied the 13th, 15th, 16th and 17th to join the lead and Koepka made it a five way tie at 12 under with an eagle on the 13th and birdie on the 15th.

Woods got on the par five 15th in two to take a one shot lead and - with 23 time Olympic gold medallist Michael Phelps stood behind the tee - he put his opener at the 16th to four feet to make his closing dropped shot of little consequence.

Schauffele and Johnson both carded closing rounds of 68, while Koepka carded a 70 as he came up just short of adding the Masters to the U.S. Open and US PGA Championship titles he already holds.

Italian Molinari found the water again on the 15th for a second double bogey in a 74, with playing partner Finau carding a 72, Day signing for a 67 and Simpson closing with a 70.

Cantlay was at ten under alongside Jon Rahm and Rickie Fowler to complete the top ten.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1WOODS, TigerUSA18-13
T2JOHNSON, DustinUSA18-12
T2SCHAUFFELE, XanderUSA18-12
T2KOEPKA, BrooksUSA18-12
T5DAY, JasonAUS18-11
T5SIMPSON, WebbUSA18-11

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