With a final-round 70, Tiger Woods won the 83rd Masters. Here, after 11 years in the personal and professional wilderness, is how Woods finally claimed his 15th major victory.
Leaderboard: Woods (-13), Dustin Johnson (-12), Xander Schauffele (-12), Brooks Koepka (-12), Jason Day (-11), Webb Simpson (-11), Francesco Molinari (-11), Tony Finau (-11), Jon Rahm (-10), Patrick Cantlay (-10), Rickie Fowler (-10)
What it means: This is Woods’ 15th major victory and his fifth green jacket. Woods had gone 14 years since his last Masters win and 11 years since his last major, the 2008 U.S. Open. Next week will mark the two-year anniversary of the fusion surgery that resurrected his career and led him back to the 18th green at Augusta, where he tapped in, gave a small fist pump, then threw his arms in the air and let it all out.
Woods is now within three of Jack Nicklaus’ all-time major record of 18 victories and within one of Jack’s Masters record of six. Woods’ 81st PGA Tour win also moves him within one of Sam Snead’s all-time record of 82. Woods has now won a major championship and a Masters in three different decades. At 43 years old, after the scandals and the pain and the surgeries and the disappointments, Tiger Woods is once again a major champion.
How it happened: Two back to start the day, Woods cut his deficit in half with a first-nine 35 of three birdies and two bogeys. He briefly tied for the lead at 11 under par when Molinari found the water at the par-3 12th en route to double, but both were quickly passed by Cantlay and Schauffele. Woods tied for the lead again with birdie at No. 13, took the outright lead with another at no. 15, and went up two when he hit his tee ball at the par-3 16th to 4 feet. He parred 17 and, needing only a 5 at the home hole, made his bogey to win by one.
Shot of the day: What else? Woods at 16.
Best of the rest: Schauffele, Cantlay and Johnson all held a share of the lead late on the second nine. Cantlay eagled the 15th to reach 12 under but immediately retreated with bogeys at Nos. 16 and 17. Schauffele made five birdies in seven holes to get to 12 under through 14 but couldn’t go any lower. Johnson played Nos. 13-17 in 4 under to get to minus-12, but it was too little too late. Koepka had a chance to post 13 under par and put some pressure on Woods but pulled his birdie putt at the 18th and settled for a three-way tie for second.
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Biggest disappointment: Up two to start the day and up one at the turn, the seemingly unflappable Molinari slowly unraveled. He lost his outright lead when he became one of four players in the final two groups two find Rae’s Creek at the par-3 12th, leading to a double bogey. He regained a share of the lead at 12 under with a bounceback birdie at the par-5 13th, but saw his Masters hopes come to an end at the par-5 15th. After missing to the right off the tee and punching across the fairway into the left rough, he fatted his third shot into the pond and very nearly went back in the water with his fifth, the ball mercifully holding onto the bank. It was a double-bogey 7 and a three-shot swing with Woods, who pushed to 13 under with a birdie as Molinari fell back to minus-10. A birdie at 17 got him a tie for fifth.
Silver Cup: U.S. Amateur winner Viktor Hovland (-3) edged the Latin America champion Alvaro Ortiz (-2) by one shot when Ortiz bogeyed the par-4 ninth, his final hole. U.S. Amateur runner-up Devon Bling finished 3 over. Asia-Pacific winner Takumi Kanaya was 5 over.
Crystal claims: Bryson DeChambeau and Justin Thomas both aced the par-3 16th Sunday, using the slope right of the flag and working it back to the hole.