The rejoicing on the 18th green of the Augusta National Golf Club was deafening when Tiger Woods pitched the crucial putt to his fifth master triumph. With his 15th Major victory, the acclaimed superstar crowned one of the biggest and most emotional comebacks in sports history. The 43-year-old Californian, plagued by numerous injuries and personal problems, prevailed against his compatriots Dustin Johnson, Xander Schauffele and Brooks Koepka (all 276 strokes) in the traditional tournament thanks to a strong seventies 70-lap final round.
“It's overwhelming what happened,” Woods said at the award ceremony before last year's winner Patrick Reed helped him into the famous green jacket. Two years ago, it was not clear if the long-standing number one in the world could continue the golfing career at all. Now, eleven years after his last Masters win, Woods not only received the famous jacket as a trophy, but also about two million dollars in prize money.
It's been eleven years since Woods last won a major: in 2008 he triumphed at the US Open. With the renewed Masters victory, he came closer to the record marks of US idol Jack Nicklaus, who won the Green Jacket six times and triumphed 18 times in major tournaments. “A huge 'well done' by myself for Tiger,” tweeted Nicklaus. “I'm so happy for him and for golf, it's just fantastic!”
The enthusiastic fans celebrated the crowd's favorite with loud “Tiger, Tiger” chants as Woods sank his ball in the hole on the 18th and final fairway – after a final round that was hard to beat. Especially on the last seven holes, the leadership changed constantly. On the twelfth fairway Woods, who started the final round two shots behind the leader, beat for the first time. His hitherto toughest competitors Francesco Molinari and Tony Finau sunk on the 144 meter short Par-3 both their tees in the water. Woods managed the par and played for the first time in the split leadership.
With a birdie on the 15th fairway Woods took over three holes before the end for the first time the sole tip of the field. On the 16th track he built his lead with another birdie. He did not give up the leadership until the end.
The two German tournament participants Martin Kaymer and Bernhard Langer were already far behind. Two-time Major winner Kaymer played a round of 71 on the fourth day and finished the tradition tournament in Georgia with 290 strokes in 51st place. The 61-year-old Langer experienced a disaster on the final day. The Masters Champion of 1985 and 1993 returned to the clubhouse with a weak 78 round. In the end, Langer took the 62nd place in his 36th Masters with 296 strokes.
. (tagsToTranslate) Sports (t) US Masters (t) Golf Course (t) Tiger Woods