Tiger Roars Again, Wins 5th Masters (15th major) PDF Print E-mail

 

For the first time since 2005, Tiger Woods is the Masters Champion




Augusta. Georgia - It was 3,955 days ago when Tiger Woods won the epic
playoff over Rocco Mediate at Torrey Pines to capture his fourteenth major
championship. On a rare Sunday a.m start (weather related), Tiger Woods
completed perhaps the greatest comeback in modern American sports history,
when he outlasted the stellar field at Augusta National for his first major
championship in 11 years (his 15th), and his first Masters title since 2005
(his 5th).

Woods no longer wins by hitting prodigious tee shots or holing every meaningful
putt, but he still has the sharpest mind in the game. He displayed his 15th club,
by patiently plodding along on Sunday, just waiting for things to break his way.
The perseverance paid off when 54 hole leader Francesco Molinari who had
been virtually mistake free for three rounds, started to show signs of cracking.
The Italian made his first bogey in 50 holes when he failed to get up and down
at the 7th, but he quickly bounced back with a birdie at the par 5 - 8th. He
seemed to be cruising along until he came up short at "Golden Bell" (the shortest
hole at ANGC - playing just over 150 yards), finding the water and resulting in
double bogey. And just like that, Tiger was tied for the lead. Challengers Brooks
Koepka and Ian Poulter suffered the same fate after rinsing their tee shots on
the same parcel of real estate that resides between the Hogan and Nelson bridges.
After birdies at 13th, 15th and 16th, Woods had a two stroke cushion as he
stood on the 18th tee. His left to right drive left him slightly blocked out
on the rightside, he punched his approach just short of the green where he
pitched on to 18 feet, needing just two putts for a score of 275 (13 under
par) to close out his 5th Masters title. He did just that, lagging to within a
foot, and the crowd raised to witness history as he tapped in for victory.
Woods took a second as if to realize what just happened, and raised his
arms in exaltation and roared - perhaps letting all know that doubted him
that he once again proved them wrong.

After notching his 81st career PGA Tour victory , Tiger discussed what it takes
to win on Dr.Alister Mackenzie's gem. "You have to know how to play this golf
course, if you do, you can beat anybody. More so than any other golf course
that we play, you have to miss the golf ball in the correct spots, and I kept
doing that time and time again," Woods said. "I told myself, 'just keep missing
it in the correct spots' and I did."


Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Xander Schauffele all finished tied for
2nd at 12 under par. Molinari finished tied for 5th at -11.


The journey has been a long and trying one for Woods, he has overcome
scandal, divorce and four back surgeries, and yet here he is once again
on top of the golf world wearing a green jacket. It has been stated by those
that know him best, and the media that see him regularly, that this is a
different person - a mature, refined and thankful Eldrick "Tiger" Woods. He
fist bumps fans between holes, makes eye contact and shows a vulnerable
side during interviews now. Perhaps the picture that best defines Tiger today
was the image of him as he walked off the 18th green. In the past during
his prime, after victories nobody was waiting afterwards to congratulate him
(only Dad Earl and Mom Tida in the early days), but on Sunday at Augusta
there was nearly a dozen fellow tour players including 61 year old Bernhard
Langer, his Mom Tida and his two children Sam and Charlie. It wasn't just
another major or great sports story, this is a human being who has found
himself, and in turn has found his way back to where it all began 22 years
ago, as the Masters Champion.