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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Tiger defies the odds, takes home green jacket

Tiger Woods secures fifth master’s win, now has second most all time

In one of the most anticipated sporting events of the year, with tickets to the weekend of events selling for a minimum of $2,000, Tiger Woods captured his fifth Masters championship and 15th major win in his career. While many people contributed to the 15% rise in ticket prices from 2018, to fans wanting to observe the pure beauty of the Augusta National course, it was Woods’ return to the green that had fans flocking in the thousands to witness one of the most historic comebacks in sports history.

After an 11-year absence from the green, Woods faced multiple injuries that left doubts if he would ever play again. Several knee surgeries, a torn Achilles tendon and back fusion surgery had many believing that Woods would never win another major championship again. Even with an impressive practice run on the course a couple days before the event, shooting a 65 through the course (compared to the average around 75), there weren’t many sports outlets that predicted Woods would even finish in the top 10. However, the resilient golfer took to the green to prove to his family, to himself and to the world that he is still one of the greatest golfers in the game.

After the first round of play, Woods put up a score of 70, or two under par, hanging in with the other golfers as almost everyone in the tournament finished the round with scores ranging between 65 and 70. It wasn’t until rounds two and three that Tiger started to up his game and show his top contender merit. Earning similar scores closer to his practice runs at Augusta, Woods shot 68 (two under par) and 67 (three under par) in rounds two and three respectively. Going into the final round 11 under par, Tiger kept his stroke through the final day on Sunday and set himself up for a shot at the championship.

Beginning Sunday, Woods was tied for second, two strokes behind the Italian national Francesco Molinari. It seemed as if Molinari had the championship secured, until he shot double-bogeys on hole 12 and 15, giving Tiger the chance to soar to the front of the pack.

Taking it down to the wire at the 18th hole, a roar of anticipatory cheers from the crowd gave Woods the confidence he needed on the green. With a par four on the final hole, Woods had a large enough lead to take five strokes to secure the win. Wood’s took them all, shooting a bogey on the final hole. Woods’ final talley was 13 strokes under, one stroke ahead of the three second place finishers.

“When I tapped the putt in, I don’t know what I did, but I know I screamed,” Woods told news outlets after the win. “To have my kids there, it’s come full circle. My dad was here in 1997 and now I’m the dad with two kids there. I couldn’t be more happy and more excited and at a loss [for] words, really.”

Walking away with his fifth masters title, Woods has the second most masters wins of all time, second to Jack Nicklaus (6). This victory also marked Woods’ 15th major win in his historic career. Taking home a little over $2 million in prize money along with his green jacket, there is no telling if this win was the one to cap off the career of one of the best golfers in history, or simply the beginning of a new era of Tiger dominance. It was one of the most storybook endings seen in sports, and Woods’ response after putting on the illustrious green jacket says it all.

“It fits,” he said.

Written by: Ryan Bugsch — sports@theaggie.org


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