Tiger Woods won his fifth Masters title on Sunday, marking his first major victory since the 2008 U.S. Open. Woods shot 13 under par through the tournament.
His victory comes after four back surgeries that left him wondering in recent years if he could ever play again. Woods, 43, became the second-oldest winner of the Masters at Augusta National, after Jack Nicklaus who won at 46 in 1986.
Nicklaus, who has won the most majors, said Woods’ win was “fantastic.”
Woods entered the final round tied for second with Tony Finau, two strokes behind Francesco Molinari.
He finished the tournament with his signature fist pump and hugged his 10-year-old son, Charlie, mother, Kutilda, and 11-year-old daughter, Sam.
Former President Barack Obama also recognized Woods on Twitter, writing: “Congratulations, Tiger! To come back and win the Masters after all the highs and lows is a testament to excellence, grit, and determination.”
Following his win, Nike, which has sponsored the golfer since the start of his career, tweeted: “Never stop chasing your crazy dream. #justdoit @TigerWoods” and released a commercial starring Woods. Nike signed Woods in 1996.
Tiger Woods, full circle pic.twitter.com/IkhqxIJlzA
— Mike Gavin (@MikeGavin7) April 14, 2019
Many social media users shared side-by-side images of Woods hugging his father, Earl, at the 18th hole after the 1997 Masters, and a photo from Sunday where he embraced his son. Woods won his first Masters title in 1997. His father died in May 2006. Woods reflected on the remixed father-son moment on Sunday, saying things had come full circle.
“To have my kids here it’s come full circle,” he said. “My dad was here in ‘97 and now I’m the dad with two kids there.”
Sunday was the first time Woods won a major when trailing going into the final round, and he needed some help from Molinari, the 54-hole leader who still was up two shots heading into the heart of Amen Corner.
And that’s when all hell broke loose at Augusta.
Molinari’s tee shot on the par-3 12th never had a chance, hitting the bank and tumbling into Rae’s Creek for double bogey. Until then, Molinari had never trailed in a round that began early in threesomes to finish ahead of storms.
And then it seemed as though practically everyone had a chance.
Six players had a share of the lead at some point on the back. With the final group still in the 15th fairway, there was a five-way tie for the lead. And that’s when Woods seized control, again with plenty of help.
Molinari’s third shot clipped a tree and plopped straight down in the water for another double bogey. Woods hit onto the green, setting up a two-putt birdie for his first lead of the final round. Woods followed with a tee shot on the par-3 16th that rode down the slope next to the cup and settled two feet away for his final birdie.
That gave him a two-shot cushion, and no one was going to catch him.