AUGUSTA, Ga. — The last time Tiger Woods won the Masters, he was wearing a red mock turtleneck. The last time Tiger Woods won the Masters, he made an iconic birdie on Augusta National’s iconic 16th hole. What’s old is new again, and now, for the first time in over a decade, Tiger Woods is a major champion.
The 43-year-old emerged from back-nine chaos on Sunday to win the 2019 Masters in thrilling fashion, posting a final-round two-under 70 to win by one shot over three of the game’s best.
Standing on the 12th tee, Woods trailed Francesco Molinari by two. Just five holes later, Woods stepped to the 16th tee with the outright lead. And that’s when he slammed the door.
Woods took a rip at an 8-iron from 179 yards, landing his high draw just long right of the pin and then watched, teeth gritted, as his ball caught the same slope that his chip caught in 2005. This one didn’t go in, but it went damn close. It meant a two-shot lead for Tiger Woods on the Sunday of a major. You know how those stories end.
Woods hit it close at 17. That was good for a kick-in par. Once he hit the fairway with 3-wood at No. 18, it was over. All that was left was hitting the green and walking up the final fairway at Augusta National, soaking up the adoration of his fans.
There was a last bit of drama, of course. With Woods, there always is. Though his tee shot found the fairway at 18, he was blocked out from the green and hit a poor approach that ended up well short and right of the green. He needed bogey to win outright; he played a pitch from the fairway that caught the ridge just past the hole and allowed his ball to settle in a familiar spot just past the pin. He missed the putt. It didn’t matter.
In the end, it was a two-under 70 for Woods. That was one shots better than the trio of Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson and Xander Schauffele at 12 under. Molinari finished another shot back after a Sunday 73.