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Tiger Woods Captures His 15th Major By Winning The 2019 Masters

Tiger Woods Captures His 15th Major By Winning The 2019 Masters

The Augusta National played host to the 83rd edition of the first major of the golf season with the fourth round starting early.

Ryan Sidle

Ryan Sidle

Tiger Woods completed one of sports most incredible comeback stories winning his first major for 11 years and winning his fifth Masters with an incredible final round to capture another famous green jacket.

Woods headed into the final round two shots behind the leader but in his classic red polo neck t-shirt and black hat he put together an impressively solid fourth round.

The 43 year old was in part left thankful to playing partner Francesco Molinari who twice found the water, at the 12th and 15th holes, to help him complete one of the most famous comeback stories in sport.

Woods carded a -2 under round on Sunday to card -15 under for the week and beat Dustin Johnson, Xander Schauffele and Brook Koepka by one shot and win his 15th major.

Woods was wearing his distinctive fourth round attire. Image: PA Images
Woods was wearing his distinctive fourth round attire. Image: PA Images

The final round of the Masters started early and pairs became trios for the fourth round as well as the field hoped to miss the storms predicted by the weather.

That meant the Francesco Molinari, who led after three rounds, would play with both Tony Finau and Tiger Woods both just two shots behind the Italian after 54 holes.

Woods hadn't won one of golf's majors since 2008, when he won the US Open, and hadn't won at the Augusta National since his fourth Masters win in 2005.

Most of the interest was in the 14 time major winner going into the final round but Brook Koepka, winners of three recent majors, 2012 US Open winner Webb Simpson and Ian Poulter were all within striking distance of the leaders.

Molinari though had a fantastic 2018, winning the Open, finishing tied sixth in the USPGA Championship and scoring five points in the Ryder Cup, as was going to be difficult to beat on the final day.

Molinari was typically solid for his first three days. Image: PA Images
Molinari was typically solid for his first three days. Image: PA Images

Woods drew first blood as he birdied the third, following two pars, whilst Molinari and Finau could only par the first three. However the 43 year old then bogeyed the next two whilst the Italian picked up more pars.

Augusta is unforgiving though and Molinari showed the first signs of wavering as he dropped a shot at the seventh and Woods followed up with a birdie to reduce the lead back to one.

Koepka and Poulter were both one under through eight to put them within one and two shots respectively whilst Finau was level with Poulter.

All three of the final group birdied the eighth whilst Patrick Cantlay picked up his fifth birdie of the round at the 11th to put himself in contention.

Woods and Finau both bogeyed the 10th, with Molinari getting another par, and the gap to one of the best golfers of all time and Koepka was back to two shots, with Finau, Cantlay and Xander Schauffele a further shot back.

No Masters is near being over before everyone's gone through the famous Amen Corner, just ask Jordan Spieth, and, just like Spieth in 2016, Molinari found the water at the 12th.

The Italian double bogeyed the hole and suddenly he was level with Woods and Schauffele. Koepka eagled 13 to join the leaders and Cantlay did the same at 15 to suddenly hold a one shot lead.

Schauffele picked up back to back birdies on the 13th and 14th to join his fellow American on -12 and a share of the lead.

The day was opening up to be a cracker of a finish and any of the top 10 suddenly looked capable of winning. Cantlay was soon a shot back and just like that Molinari and Woods were in a three way tie for the lead after both birdied the 13th.

Jason Day's brilliant -5 for the day put the Australian just one shot off the lead and left him as the clubhouse leader and in with a brilliant shot of winning.

Dustin Johnson hadn't been mentioned all day but the 2016 US Open winner birdied 13th, 15th, 16th and 17th to go level and Koepka's birdie at 15 made it five co-leaders.

For the second time in his round Molinari found the water, this time at the 15th, and with everyone else playing so well the usually unflappable Italian was in trouble.

Whilst his rival struggled at 15 Woods made a birdie, having had an eagle attempt, to go into the lead on his own.

Tiger picked up another birdie at the the 16th and it looked like fate that the man considered one of the best ever would finally win his 15th major.

Koepka had the chance on the 18th to close the gap to one shot and put the pressure on Woods but he left his putt wide and all but guaranteed the win for the four time winner.

The miss was a huge moment as Woods made a hash of his second shot at the last and dropped a shot to win only by one.

There still remains questions as to whether or not Woods is the greatest golfer of all time but it's almost undoubted whether this is the most incredible comeback in the sport.

Not that long ago it looked like he may not be able to compete at the top anymore now Tiger Woods is a 15 time major champion.

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Topics: Masters, Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods, Augusta