Tiger by numbers: A major victory almost 4,000 days after his last

Francesco Molinari

Francesco Molinari The Canadian Press

On Sunday he finally realised the dream of adding to his major wins by winning the Masters by one stroke and collecting his fifth green jacket at the Augusta National.

When his final tap in bogey putt disappeared into the cup, Woods delivered one of his trademark fist pumps and then raised both arms in the air while screaming in absolute delight as the crowd chanted, "Tiger, Tiger, Tiger".

Woods led wire-to-wire at the 2002 U.S. Open here and was the only golfer to finish the tournament under par at the public course on Long Island.

Fellow Americans Dustin Johnson, Xander Schauffele and Brooks Koepka tied for second place at 12 under, while four players - Jason Day, Webb Simpson, Francesco Molinari and Tony Finau - were a further shot back. Prior to Sunday, Woods hadn't won a major championship since his victory at the USA open in 2008.

"It's great to see Tiger doing well, but the way he was playing a year ago I think we all knew it was coming sooner or later, " said Molinari, who outplayed Woods in the final pairing of the final round to win the British Open last July.

This is a breaking news story.

With his win Sunday, the debate on whether Woods can catch Nicklaus has renewed.

Then a personal scandal led to divorce, and Woods also endured setbacks because of injuries. "Just kept, as I said, just kept plodding along".

Tiger Woods of the United States chews gum on the second hole during the second round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 12, 2019 in Augusta, Georgia. In 2017, he underwent a spinal fusion, his fourth back surgery, with hopes of alleviating the pain.

He admits he struggled with everyday tasks such as getting out of bed, driving and taking his kids to school, and is widely reported to have confided at the pre-Masters Champions Dinner a couple of years ago: "I'm done". "I always felt like I could do pretty much anything physically, but for a while there, I just couldn't even walk".

Tiger Woods blazing to victory in his Sunday red at the Masters, a scene once so familiar, was never more stunning.

Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas, neighbors in south Florida who often play with Woods, expressed a mixture of excitement and trepidation. I couldn't sit. Couldn't lay down.

"To have the opportunity to come back like this, it is probably one of the biggest wins I've had, for sure, because of it".

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who won a record sixth Super Bowl this past February, joked that he was plotting how to match the number of major golf championships Woods has now accumulated. There was a whole slew of athletes who swooped in to give Woods their congratulations. I really couldn't so much of anything. "He played well, he hit the right shots at the right time and deserved to win". "And with six or seven guys with a chance to win the championship it got a little complicated but fortunately I was able to hit some of my best golf shots all week".

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