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Dublin: 2 °C Friday 15 November, 2019

'It has come full circle': Woods savours Masters win in front of his children

There were special scenes on the 18th at Augusta on Sunday.

TIGER WOODS COMPLETED one of the greatest sporting comebacks by producing a vintage Sunday afternoon performance down the home straight at Augusta to clinch his first Masters title in 14 years, a win he described as ‘overwhelming’.

Ending an 11-year Major drought, the 43-year-old American — who underwent spinal fusion in 2017 fearing chronic back pain would deny him life’s simple joys much less golf wins — seized his first Major title since the 2008 US Open.

Masters Golf Woods celebrates with his family. Source: Matt Slocum

Woods fired a final-round two-under par 70 to finish on 13-under for a one-shot victory to capture a $2.07 million top prize and a fifth green jacket, holding off the challenge of an all-star chasing pack, including Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Xander Schauffele and Francesco Molinari.

The triumph was the first Major victory for Woods when he did not lead after 54 holes, having started the day two adrift of reigning Open champion Molinari.

With a two-shot lead going up the final hole, Woods walked up to the 18th green to crowds 20-people deep applauding with delight, but he kept a stoic visage until the job was complete, a tap-in for bogey followed by a fist pump and a scream of joy in celebration of a fairytale fightback like few others in sporting history.

Just off the 18th green, Woods hugged his mother as he had his late father Earl in 1997 and held his children, Sam and Charlie.

“When I tapped the putt in, I don’t know what I did, but I just screamed,” he said.

“To have my kids there, it’s come full circle. My Dad was here in ’97 and now I’m the Dad with two kids here.

“I’m at a loss for words. My little boy Charlie, that embrace, it was just special to have them here. Sam actually lost a state soccer tournament yesterday so I kind of convinced her to come up and watch The Masters. So they came up today and I was so happy I could win.

I was as patient as I’ve been in a number of years out there. I kept control of my emotions, my shots, my shot placements. To see that board, it was a who’s who and it all changed at 12. Francesco made a mistake at 12, so did Brooks and there were so many scenarios.

Speaking in the Butler Cabin ahead of receiving a fifth green jacket, Woods continued: “It’s overwhelming, just because of what has transpired. Last year, I was just very lucky to be playing again.

The previous dinner, the champions’ dinner, I was really struggling, and I missed a couple of years, not playing this great tournament.

“Now, to be the champion, what is it — 22 years between wins? It’s a long time. It’s just unreal for me to experience this.

“It would be up there with one of the hardest I’ve ever had to win, just because of what has transpired the last couple of years, trying to come back and play. 

“I was close last year a couple of times, with a chance in the last two Major championships. I applied what I learned from those and was able to seal the deal today.” 

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Ryan Bailey

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