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Tiger Woods caps stirring comeback with fifth Masters triumph, 15th major title

Tiger Woods caps stirring comeback with fifth Masters triumph, 15th major title

But the signs were different when Woods clinched his first title in five years at the Tour Championship in Atlanta last year.

In 1997 Tiger hugged his father beside the 18th green after claiming his first title, 22 years later he embraced his children in nearly exactly the same spot, amid nearly unprecedented scenes at Augusta as the crowd cheered wildly.

Woods' 13-under 275 saw him finish the day one shot clear of Dustin Johnson, Xander Schauffele and Brooks Koepka, with Molinari a further shot back on 11 under.

However, dressed in his traditional final-round red shirt, Woods emerged from a back-nine showdown with two-time major victor Molinari to win his fifth Masters title and 15th major of a storied career that moves him three behind Jack Nicklaus' record haul of 18.

In 2002 he emulated Nick Faldo and Jack Nicklaus in winning back-to-back Masters.

Koepka and Molinari had both faced Tigermania in the majors and held their own, Molinari at Carnoustie to win the British Open, Koepka last summer at Bellerive to win the PGA Championship.

Molinari played in the final pairing with Woods at the British Open previous year and beat him. "Eighteen [majors] is, I think, a lot closer than people think".




"I'm a little hoarse from yelling", said Woods, whose last Masters win came back in 2005.

He is now three short of the record 18 majors won by Jack Nicklaus and is the second oldest Masters victor after Nicklaus. But regardless of whether or not you sympathize with the golf legend, winning a major at his age after going winless for 11 years is an incredible athletic achievement.

"I was very fortunate to be given another chance to do something that I love to do", Woods said. I just couldn't be more happy, more excited. Woods hit onto the green, setting up a two-putt birdie for his first lead of the final round.

Yes, he's a major champion again. So maybe next time it will be better for me, but it was nice to be out with him. But the Italian self-destructed on the back side, dunking two balls in the water on the way to double-bogeys at the 12th and 15th holes. His birdie putt on the 18th from just outside 10 feet never had a chance, and he had to settle for a 70.

This was one is sure to at least rival it.

"I think I made a few new fans today with those double bogeys", he said.

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