Tiger Woods has won the Masters on Sunday at a rainy Augusta National, finishing what was arguably the greatest career comeback in the history of golf nearly a decade after injuries and scandal derailed his game.
The 43-year-old golf legend walked up the 18th hole to the sound of roaring cheers to secure victory, a throwback to earlier years when he consistently dominated the most prestigious tournament in the sport. Woods shot a final round score of 70 to finish 13-under par. Sunday’s victory was his fifth green jacket since 1997 and his first since 2005.
Woods’ return to greatness came after nearly a decade on the outside of the golf world looking in. In 2009, Woods’ marriage fell apart over his infidelity, and he crashed his SUV after an early-morning argument with his then-wife. After their divorce in 2010, Woods underwent four back surgeries, leaving in doubt whether he would ever be able to even play again. He was arrested in 2017 after being found asleep in his car with its engine running at traffic light, eventually pleading guilty to reckless driving. “It’s overwhelming, just because of what’s transpired,” he recalled after the round. “It’s unreal for me to experience this.”
Woods made history 22 years ago when he won his first Masters at age 21, the youngest champion ever. But until Sunday, he hadn’t won a major in more than 10 years, having last captured the U.S. Open in 2008. Woods’ 11-year drought between majors was tied for the longest drought ever. His victory at Augusta gives him 15 career major titles, just three behind all-time leader Jack Nicklaus.
Tiger Woods Says the ‘Love and Support’ of His Kids ‘Means the World’ After Masters Win
“It means the world to me. Their love and their support, I just can’t say enough how much that meant to me throughout my struggles when I really just had a hard time moving around,” he told reporters at his winner’s press conference. “Just their infectiousness of happiness; you know, I was going through a tough time physically. There was a lot of times when I really couldn’t move and so that in itself is difficult.”
“But just to have them there, and then now to have them see their Pops win, just like my Pops saw me win here, it’s pretty special,” he added with a smile.
Image courtesy CBS, Golf.com and CNBC