Woods and Molinari set for back-nine Masters showdown

15 April, 2019, 08:24 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • Tiger Woods in the hunt for the lead at the Masters after sinking six birdies on Day 3 at Augusta

It was the first time Woods won a major when trailing going into the final round, and he needed some help from Francesco Molinari, the 54-hole leader who still was up two shots heading into the heart of Amen Corner.

Woods stormed to the top of the leaderboard at Augusta National and claimed his fifth Masters championship, his first since 2005, and his first major championship since 2008. The 14 years between Masters' victories was a record, surpassing the 11-year span between two of Nicklaus' wins.

Written off as too old and too beaten up from four back surgeries and multiple knee operations, Woods underwent a back fusion procedure in 2017 and slowly returned to form.

Tiger Woods is the Masters Champion. Unfortunately, he ultimately beat himself on the back nine. "I am so inspired thank you buddy".

Woods has said for the past couple of years that his biggest motivation was to win a major in front of his children now that they're old enough to understand the magnitude of the moments. "I am so happy for him and for the game of golf", read a text to CBS from Jack Nicklaus, whose 18 career majors and six Masters titles Woods (with 15 and five) sits just behind.

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And then Molinari hit his 8-iron tee shot into Rae's Creek on the 12th, took double bogey and everything changed. "Just kept, as I said, just kept plodding along".

But with a surgically-fused back that is allowing him to generate nearly as much power as 20 years ago it would be courageous to bet against a man who has already done the seemingly impossible time and time again.

Molinari said he knew it could be a tough challenge holding off Woods, who has a history of making memorable charges on the final day of major tournaments, especially at Augusta. "Knowing all you have been through physically to come back and do what you just did today?"

That gave him a two-shot cushion, and no one was going to catch him.

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