Tiger Wins Fifth Masters
By Garrett Glaeser, Staff Writer
This past Sunday, Tiger Woods made history once again by winning his fifth green jacket at the Augusta National Golf Club, his first major title since the 2008 US Open.
The win gave Tiger his fifteenth major, three short of tying Jack Nicklaus for most all-time, and his eighty-first career PGA tour victory, one shy of Sam Snead’s record.
Donning his classic Sunday best red Nike mock turtleneck, Woods teed off in the last grouping at 9:20am, two shots off the lead held by Francesco Molinari, winner of the British Open last year.
Typically, the final groups don’t go off until almost three in the afternoon on Sundays but forecasted storms pushed all tee times up with groups going off the front and back nine. Tony Finau, who shot an impressive 64 on Saturday to put him at -11, accompanied Woods and Molinari.
Tiger shot one under on the front nine and remained very much in the mix heading into an ever crowded leaderboard with Dustin Johnson, Xander Schauffele, and Brooks Koepka putting together impressive rounds themselves.
Francesco Molinari remained even on the front, bogeying seven and following it up with a birdie on eight to remain in the lead at the turn. However, things started to fall apart for the Italian when he hit his tee shot into the water on the par three twelfth. He walked off the green with a crippling double bogey.
Things went from bad to worse for Molinari, who hit it in the water again on the par four fifteenth, a hole that Tiger Woods birdied. Tiger then hit his tee shot on the par three sixteenth to four feet where he sunk the birdie putt, moved into a two-shot lead over the field, then later cruised through the final two holes.
On the eighteenth hole, Woods took advantage of that two-shot cushion and played it very safe, happy to tap in a bogey putt to win the Masters. Raising his hands in near disbelief, Tiger Woods reached a pinnacle in golf not many, not even he himself, thought he would achieve again.
A heartfelt embrace with his ten-year-old son Charlie off the eighteenth green brought back memories for many of a much younger Tiger hugging his late father Earl in the same place 22 years ago when he first won the Masters in 1977.
Tiger’s win does more than elevate him back to major champion, it brings public attention back to the sport of golf that had faded with his absence. Like him or hate him, Woods is the most prominent figure in the golf world and having him back makes every event he plays in that much more entertaining.
Back in 2017 Tiger was ranked 1,199 in the world. Now he’s climbed his way back to sixth and poses a major threat to win the next two majors, the PGA Championship at Bethpage Black in May, and the US Open at Pebble Beach in June. Woods has won major championships at both venues, notably the 2000 US Open at Pebble where he won by 15 strokes.
This week, Tiger opened up as the Vegas favorite to win at Bethpage at +850, followed by Masters runner up Dustin Johnson and world ranked number four Rory McIlroy at +950. Last year’s PGA Championship winner, Brooks Koepka, opened at +1500.
The world will have to wait until May 16th to see if Tiger can win back-to-back majors, and instead settle for this weekend’s far mellower PGA event where Japan’s Satoshi Kodaira will look to defend his title at the RBC Heritage in Harbour Town, South Carolina.