Tiger Woods wins the 2019 masters in a triumphal procession for eternity

Posted by on April 14, 2019  /   Posted in golf reviews

AUGUSTA, Ga. – The return of Tiger Woods through personal and professional setbacks is complete: he captured his fifth Masters title and his 15th major tournament on Sunday, cutting a championship dryness of almost 11 years.

It was a monumental triumph for Woods, a magical, come-behind victory for a player who hadn't won a big championship since his personal life began to unravel on Thanksgiving evening in 2009, when a marital dispute led to a car accident and a succession of lurid tabloid heads. On the golf course he had a series of back and leg injuries that led to an addiction to painkillers and culminated in pain, screwing so much that he had asked before the operation in 2017 if he could play professionally again.

Woods, who at 43 became the second oldest winner of the Masters at Augusta National, after the then 46-year-old Jack Nicklaus in 1986, achieved the last major success in one of the four major golf tournaments at the 2008 United States Open.

"It's overwhelming just because of what happened," Woods said in a television interview after it was over. "To become the champion now – 22 years between victories takes a long time – it is unreal for me to experience this. It was one of the hardest I have ever had to win just because of what has happened in the last few years."

He had come close on a few Sundays to win his 15th major over the years, but did not get it done. But after the operation in 2017, a spinal fusion procedure that he was a & # 39; last resort & # 39; mentioned, he embarked on a new lease for his career.

His hunt for Nicklaus & record 39 major championships, which seemed like a foregone conclusion when he sprinted to 14 major titles in his first 11 years as a professional, is now officially over.

Last year, Woods made 18 PGA Tour starts, his most since 2012, and placed his first win since 2013, during the Tour Championship. He also fought in the last two majors of the year, the British Open and the P.G.A. Championship, on the way to top six displays at every tournament. Those results, he said, reinforced his belief that he could fight this week at Augusta National, the site of his first major triumph, with 12 strokes, in 1997.

Woods, in his 22nd Masters appearance, closed with a final round of 70 and 13 under par on 275, a beat better than Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Xander Schauffele. He took the lead with just three holes to play after a birdie putt on the par-15 15th hole and held on from there. With thunderstorms predicted for the late afternoon, the Masters organizers postponed the starting times by five hours. Players were also placed players in groups of three, rather than the traditional two, hoping to speed up the game.

But by the time the tournament leaders went into the second half of their round on Sunday, the wind picked up and it started to rain a little.

Both players with whom Woods was grouped in the last trio, Francesco Molinari, 36, and Tony Finau, 29, described Woods as their childhood idols. Both eventually succumbed to the pressure of the final round, but Woods did not.

"I tried to struggle all day along the golf course," Woods said in an interview on television. "Suddenly I had a head start. When I was 18 I only tried a 5. When I tapped the pit – I don't know what I did, I know I screamed."

Now, after more than one decade of his If Woods stays in place, it suddenly seems to have a full steam ahead. The next two majors, the P.G.A. Championship on Bethpage Black on Long Island in May and the United States Open on Pebble Beach in California in June, are on courses where Woods has previously won. He seems ready to do this again.

However, those events seem far away. Sunday's glow will last for weeks and months and will be discussed for years as one of the crucial moments in the career of an athlete who has been more than a golfer since he jumped onto the scene in 1996.

Woods became famous in the sports world in 1996 with his & # 39; Hello World & # 39; Nike commercial and a father, Earl Woods, who promised his son's achievements, would change the world. The following 23 years were the ultimate roller coaster.

For the first decade of his career, Woods sucked up the praise and flattery that came with talent, success, and fame. He fought emotionally for the first time after the death of his father in 2006. Then the injuries began, and then his life began to unravel with the infamous car accident of 2009.

In 2017, after several operations on his back, he came to the bottom. He was accused of driving under the influence when he was found in a haze of pain killers behind the wheel of his car with the engine running. He later pleaded guilty to reckless driving.

So it seemed fitting that nearly a decade after the 2009 accident, the first person he embraced when he came out of the golf course was his son, Charlie, before moving to his mother, Kultida, and his daughter , Sam.

"To have my children here, it has become a full circle," he said. "My father was here in & # 39; 97 and now I am the father with two children there."

Woods said that this tournament was one of the hardest he should ever have won because he bore the burden of having almost won but has fallen short in recent years.

"I was as patient as I think I have been in a number of years, especially the last three days," he said. "To see that sign, it was a who & # 39; s-who. Everything turned around 12. We were a few behind, Francesco made a mistake, I saw Brooksie making a mistake and all these different scenarios begin flying around. "

As he walked to sign his scorecard, a dozen former and current stars of the game waited to hug him and shake his hand, something that had never happened in recent years , when Woods was largely a loner at the top of the sport.

When he put on the green coat for the fifth time he said something that everyone knew. "It fits."

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