Tiger Woods reacts when he wins the Masters golf tournament on Sunday, April 14, 2019 in Augusta, Ga. (Photo by AP / David J. Phillip)
It was a Sunday unlike any other in this tradition, unlike any other.
But as he had done on the four Sunday afternoons at the Augusta National Golf Club, Tiger Woods was alone at the top of the Masters leaderboard.
Woods, 43, pitched a low 70 par 2 to win his first green jacket since 2005 and his first major since the 2008 US Open. He defeated Dustin Johnson, Xander Schauffle and Brooks Koepeka in one fell swoop, but That does not begin to tell the story of a dramatic Sunday that ended approximately four and a half hours before Sunday's start time. Threat of bad weather.
"It fits," Woods said after the 2018 champion, Patrick Reed, pbaded the traditional winner garment on his shoulders at Butler Cabin. It was a much quieter setting than the 18th green that had pbaded a few minutes earlier when Woods secured the title with a small bogey putt.
"WOOOOOOO !!!" Woods yelled as he made his way to the scoring room with the chants of "Tiger, Tiger, Tiger," echoing as loudly as any of the roars of the last nine at Augusta National. He picked up Charlie, 10, born a year after that spectacular victory on Father's Day weekend in Torrey Pines. He embraced his mother and then his 11-year-old daughter Sam, and everyone else in his camp who accompanied him through a public divorce, a shameful arrest for DUI of an invasion of painkillers and surgeries.
Woods started the day in a tie for second place with Tony Finau, two shots behind Francesco Molinari, the defender of the British Open champion with such constant nerves that when entering on Sunday, the Italian had no bogey any hole from the Thursday 11th.
But Molinari's nerves and shooting skills failed him in the last nine Sundays. With a lead of two shots on the 12th tee, Molinari watched helplessly as his tee shot left the green and entered Rae & # 39; s Creek. A double bogey was not enough for Molinari to withdraw from the contest, but the appearance of invincibility had been broken.
If what happened at 12 was a tragedy, what happened to Molinari at 15 was a farce. Playing conservatively to avoid water in par 5, Molinari came up against what should have been a simple third shot to the green. But he hit his wedge grease, pulled it in the air, from a nearby tree and into the water. He double bogeyed the hole to abandon a part of the lead.
On the same hole, Woods made a conventional birdie-4 to take the lead for the first time. He secured his lead in par 3 16 by hitting an 8-foot iron from the cup for another birdie and a two-stroke advantage.
That little bird, along with a little bird lost by Koepka on the 18th, gave Tiger the cushion he needed to finish with a bogey-5 and secure his fifth green and fifteenth major jacket, dragging only the great Jack Nicklaus in both categories.