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25 Apr 2019 12:11
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  •   Home > News > Sports > Golf

    Tiger Woods wins The Masters by one shot for his fifth Augusta title and 15th major crown

    Tiger Woods emerges triumphant at Augusta to win the US Masters for the fifth time, capping a comeback from back problems and scandals that had dogged his career in recent years.


    Tiger Woods has emerged triumphant at Augusta to win the US Masters for the fifth time, capping an incredible comeback from back problems and scandals that had dogged his career in recent years.

    In a rollercoaster final round, which at one stage had five co-leaders, Woods held his nerve to come through for a final round of 70 to finish on 13-under, one clear of Dustin Johnson, Xander Schauffele and Brooks Koepka.

    The victory came 14 years after winning his last green jacket and prompted emotional scenes as Woods embraced his mother Kultida, and his children Sam and Charlie after holing a putt on the last to move to 15 major titles, within three of all-time great Jack Nicklaus.

    "I'm a little hoarse from yelling," Woods said after the round.

    "I was just trying to plod my way through the course all day.

    "Then I was trying to get a five on the last [hole]. And when I made the putt I don't know what I did but I screamed.

    "To have my kids there was [wonderful], I've come full circle.

    "My dad [Earl] was here in 1997 when I won [the Masters for the first time]. And now I'm the dad with two kids here.

    "It's overwhelming. Because of what transpired last year — I was lucky to be playing again. I'm at a loss for words, really."

    Going into the final round, Woods was joint second on 11-under, two shots behind overnight leader Francesco Molinari.

    Officials changed the format for the final round — switching play to groups of three instead of two, and having golfers start from two separate tees, the 1st and the 18th.

    The changes were aimed at trying to complete the tournament before forecast severe weather due to hit Augusta on Sunday afternoon, American time.

    The telling moment came early in the back nine, when four challengers hit their balls in Rae's Creek at the par-three 12th hole known as "Golden Bell".

    First, three-time major winner Brooks Koepka and English Ryder Cup legend Ian Poulter hit successive balls in the drink.

    Then when the final group of Finau, Molinari and Woods came to the hole, the Italian star — who won last year's Open Championship and went unbeaten in Europe's Ryder Cup win over the US — hit a poor shot that just made it over the creek before trickling back into the water.

    Finau then hit his tee shot into the creek before Woods played it safe hitting to the heart of the green.

    Both Finau and Molinari double-bogeyed the hole, with Woods' par creating a three-way tie for the lead.

    Koepka hit back with an eagle on the 13th, and the race tightened further — at one stage there were five co-leaders.

    Jason Day was the best of the Australians — having scored three birdies on the first nine to put himself in the mix, Day added another three birdies on the second nine to emerge as a surprise early clubhouse leader at 11-under.

    He finished tied for fifth, the best of the Australians in the field. Adam Scott finished tied for 18th after a final round of 73 left him 6-under for the tournament.

    Marc Leishman was tied for 49th on 1-over after a final round of 3-over 75.

    Cameron Smith shot 77 to end the tournament tied for 51st on 2-over.

    Molinari's hopes ended when he hit another ball in the water at the par-five 15th.

    Other challengers faltered slightly, and Woods took advantage with a birdie at the 15th followed by another one at the 16th — the scene of one of the greatest moments of Woods' career when he chipped in on the way to his previous victory in 2005.

    As Woods moved into a share of the lead and then led the field, the sounds of the so-called "Tiger roar" rang around Augusta as fans' excitement grew at the prospect of Woods winning another major.

    In the end, he needed a bogey five on the par-four 18th to clinch victory.

    He took some deep breaths before hitting his third shot onto the green — it came to rest 20 feet away from the hole — and the emotions started showing for Woods.

    He walked through the huge galleries and onto the green, then lagged his putt up before tapping in to trigger huge celebrations.

    As the tradition goes, last year's champion Patrick Reed (who finished tied for 36th) helped Woods put on the green jacket — his only response was "It fits!".

    © 2019 ABC Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved


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