Story By: Erin Zollars
Photos By: Sol Tucker
There were those who said he would never do it again. Those who said he was washed up and never will be his old self again. Well that was two years ago and today its another green jacket in the closet for Tiger Woods and his fifth major victory.
At 43, Woods became the second-oldest winner of the Masters, behind Jack Nicklaus, who won here in 1986 at age 46 and who holds the record for victories in major tournaments, 18. And Woods’s victory immediately reverberated beyond golf and, for that matter, sports.
“It’s unreal for me to experience this,’’ Woods said in a television interview after his victory on Sunday. “It was one of the hardest I’ve ever had to win just because of what’s transpired the last couple of years.”
For anyone who was in the crowd or watched it on TV, this my have been one of the best final days of the Masters in recent years. From the four way tie at -12 under to the faltering of Francesco Molinari in the final few holes, no one really knows what the feeling of taking a huge load off his shoulders feels like. Perhaps like Mike in the 45, he is really back.
“To have my kids here, it’s come full circle,” he said after Sunday’s final round. “My dad was here in ’97, and now I’m the dad with two kids there.”
With a closing round of two-under-par 70, Woods edged two other major champions — Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka — as well as Xander Schauffele, a 25-year-old from San Diego. Woods’s 72-hole score of 13-under 275 was one shot better than his total in his 2005 victory at Augusta. And it was the first time that Woods, who started the day two strokes off the lead, had come from behind in the final round to win a major tournament.