14 April 2019: The whole week felt like a logjam. Amidst the constant jostling for space, somewhere in there, was Tiger Woods. After playing solid golf through the week, the embattled American waited till the second nine on Sunday to produce some of his best golf. Even as the field started melting into the Sunday madness that has now become customary at the Masters, Tiger separated himself from the chaos with three birdies in four holes for an emphatic victory.
Francesco Molinari had a two-stroke cushion at the start of the day. The Italian guarded his advantage with some dogged golf through the first nine. But the effort drained the resilient Italian who finally ceded ground when he sank in the water on the par-3 12th hole. That was the beginning of steep downhill ride for the normally reliable Molinari.
An errant tee shot at the 15th forced Molinari into scrambling again. Playing his third from the left of the fairway, Molinari flew too high, caught a pine branch and sank in the water a second time. It was essentially the end of the battle.
But he could only make par on the final two holes, leaving Woods two putts to secure victory. With Augusta reverberating to the chants of Tiger, the 14-time major champion marched elegantly to the deck. He nearly made the par putt, but the ball flirted with the edge before sliding just past. The tap in bogey secured a one stroke victory over Johnson, Koepka and Xander Schauffele.
“I was just trying to plod my way around the course the whole day. And then suddenly I was in the lead. I sank that putt on the 18th and to have my children there,” said Woods.
“It is overwhelming. After what has transpired over the past few years, it is truly incredible. My mother was here too, as she was in 1997. Twenty-two years is a long time. I am really happy and lost for words.”