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Tiger Woods Caps Amazing Personal Comeback, Wins Masters

AUGUSTA, Ga. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Tiger Woods blazing to victory in his Sunday red at the Masters, a scene once so familiar, was never more stunning.

It was only two years ago at Augusta National that Woods needed a nerve block just to hobble upstairs to the Champions Dinner, unsure he would ever play another round of golf. He had a fourth back surgery with hopes of simply playing with his two children, not chasing Jack Nicklaus in history.

And now its all pieced back together — his life, his back, even golf.

A fallen hero, a crippled star, Woods is a Masters champion again.

MORE: In Pictures: Tiger Woods Wins The 2019 Masters

He won his fifth green jacket, his 15th major, but never with this much raw emotion. The most ferocious fist pump was when he walked off the 18th green, scooped up 10-year-old son Charlie, and embraced his mother and his 11-year-old daughter Sam.

Tiger Woods is awarded the Green Jacket by 2018 champion Patrick Reed after winning the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 14, 2019 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

“For them to see what its like to have their dad win a major championship, I hope thats something they will never forget,” Woods said.

Who can ever forget this day?

“Its hard to really feel bad about how I played because I just witnessed history,” said Xander Schauffele, one of three players who finished second. “It was really cool coming down the stretch, all the historic holes, Tiger making the roars. I feel like I got full Masters experience.”

The comeback goes beyond the two-shot deficit he erased before a delirious audience that watched memories turn into reality.

It had been 14 years since he last won the Masters — no one had ever gone that long between green jackets. He had gone nearly 11 years since his last major, the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines on a shattered left leg.

This was bigger.

Woods never missed a shot that mattered over the final seven holes, taking the lead with a 5-iron to the fat of the green on the par-5 15th for a two-putt birdie, delivering the knockout with an 8-iron that rode down the ridge by the cup and settled 2 feet away for birdie on the par-3 16th.

He tapped in for bogey and a 2-under 70, and the celebration was on.

“WOOOOOOO!!!” Woods screamed as he headed for the scoring room with chants of “Tiger! Tiger! Tiger!” He had never hugged more people, everyone in his camp who stood by him through a public divorce, an embarrassing mug shot from his DUI arrest when he took a bad mix of painkillers and the four back surgeries, the most recent to fuse his lower spine

“I had serious doubts after what transpired a couple of years ago,” Woods said. “I could barely walk. I couldnt sit. Couldnt lay down. I really couldnt so much of anything. … To have the opportunity to come back like this, its probably one of the biggest wins Ive ever had for sure because of it.”

President Donald Trump, who has played with Woods at his Florida course, had two tweets of congratulations. Fenway Park posted the news on the scoreboard.

A comeback for the ages?

It rates among the best because Woods has meant so much to so many in a sport he ruled for so long. Whether he can dominate it again is still to be determined. Woods needed some help to win this Masters. Six players had a share of the lead at some point on the back nine, and there was five-way tie at the top when the final group was still on the 15th fairway.

“You couldnt have had more drama than we all had out there. And now I know why Im balding,” Woods said. “This stuff is hard.”

It didnt look that way when he was younger, healthier and the most popular sporting figure in the world.

Woods lost his impeccable image to a sex scandal, one of the swiftest and most shocking downfalls in sports. He lost his health to back problems. He went two years without even playing a major.

Now the comeback is truly complete. And the race is on.

“A big well done from me to Tiger,” Nicklaus tweeted. “I am so happy for him and for the game of golf. This is just fantastic!!!”

Woods now is three short of the gold standard — 18 majors — set by Nicklaus.

“I think 18 is a whole lot closer than people think,” Brooks Koepka said.

Joe LaCava, the caddie who stayed with Woods even when he didnt play for the better part of two years, said they have talked about the record.

“Were on 14 and I said, Lets get to 15. You cant be on 14 and thinking about 18,” LaCava said. “But now we can start talking about 16. So were getting closer.”

It was the first time Woods won a major when trailing going into the final round. Francesco Molinari, the 54-hole leader, was still up two shots heading into the heart of Amen Corner.

And thats when all hell broke loose.

Molinaris tee shot on the par-3 12th never had a chance, hitting the bank and tumbling into Raes 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, until Woods delivered the key shots at the big moment, just like the old days.

Schauffele failed to birdie the par-5 15th and scrambled for parRead More – Source

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