Monday, 22 April, 2019

Rick Zamperin: Tiger Woods is still the master at Augusta

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Jennie Wade | 15 April, 2019, 05:29

All eyes were on Tiger Woods, Francesco Molinari and the weather as the race for the Green Jacket turned into a sprint on Sunday with the Masters heading towards a stormy finish.

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.

Those errors left him too far back to prevent Woods claiming a remarkable fifth Masters victory and a 15th major championship, with Molinari limping home in 74 to finish two shots off the pace on 11 under par.

Woods signed for a two-under 70 in the final round, finishing on minus 13, just ahead of Xander Schauffele, Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka. When I tapped in I don't know what I did, I know I screamed.

Koepka has said all week he was focused on his own game and not worrying about what anyone else is doing, but that could prove tough come Sunday with the leaders playing right behind him.

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Woods's girlfriend Erica Herman, mother Kultida and two children Sam and Charlie watched while a massive gallery roared as he marched up to the 18th green to put the finishing touches on a milestone victory.

The 43-year-old Woods started Sunday's final round joint second with fellow American Tony Finau, while Molinari was the man to catch, starting the day at 13-under 203.

He also set a record for the longest gap between Masters triumphs, the 14-year spread one year longer than the old mark set by South African Gary Player from 1961 to 1974. 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.

None could go lower except Woods, with Molinari undone at the par-5 15 when his approach struck a tree limb and his chip barely clung to the side of a damp slope on the way to a double-bogey disaster.

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