2019 Masters: Tiger Woods wins fifth Green Jacket - how the golf world reacted
Social media goes crazy after one of sport’s greatest ever comebacks
Tiger Woods is back. Fourteen years since his last victory at the Masters he secured his fifth Green Jacket and 15th career major on Sunday to move to within three of Jack Nicklaus’s all-time record of 18.
American golf icon Woods came into the event without a major win since 2011 and in 2017 he had fallen to 1,199 in the world rankings having suffered from injuries, undergoing back surgery and dealing with personal issues.
However, now once again a major champion, Woods’s return to top level golf has been described by many as one of “sport’s greatest ever comebacks”.
Starting the final round two shots behind third-round leader Francesco Molinari, Woods triumphed by one shot after hitting a two-under 70 to finish on -13 overall. Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson and Xander Schauffele were tied for second place on -12.
A previous Green Jacket winner in 1997, 2001, 2002 and 2005, 43-year-old Woods was presented with golf’s most famous garment by last year’s Masters champion Patrick Reed.
Speaking in The Butler Cabin at Augusta National, Woods said: “I was just trying to plot my way along the golf course all day and all of a sudden I had the lead and coming up 18 it was just trying to make a five.
“When I tapped the putt in I don’t know what I did. I know I screamed. To have my kids there, it’s come full circle - my dad was here in ’97 and now I’m the dad with two kids there.
“It’s overwhelming. I think it’s just because what has transpired. Last year I was just very lucky to be playing again. The previous Champions Dinner I was still struggling and missed a couple of years playing this great tournament - to now be the champion 22 years between wins is a long time but it is just unreal for me to experience this.
“My mom was here, she was here in ’97 as well, and so I just couldn’t be more happy and more excited.”
How the press reacted to Tiger’s Masters win
Iain Carter, BBC Sport golf correspondent: “He has held his emotion in check all day. Now it is tumbling out. What a story. Tiger Woods is back as a major winner. The hug with his mother. His son is leaping into his arms. The chants of Tiger everywhere. What an extraordinary story and what scenes at Augusta. It is all about this man who dominated golf. I have never seen him celebrate like that.”
BBC Sport: “Woods sinks his putt and turns around to an Augusta crowd apoplectic with joy. Woods rips off his cap, fist-pumps like mad and ‘wooos’ like Ric Flare. Absolute scenes! The noise is incredible. Augusta chanting ‘Tiger, Tiger, Tiger!’ like it’s a fight scene from Rocky.”
Peter Alliss, BBC Sport commentator: “I don’t think I’ve ever seen better scenes than this.”
Paul McGinley, Sky Sports: “It’s just absolutely fantastic. I think this is going to transcend our game of golf, not just because it’s the Masters, because it’s Tiger Woods, it’s the comeback, we all love comebacks.”
Alan Tyers, The Daily Telegraph: “It is the first time Woods has won a major when trailing after 54 holes and comes 3,954 days since he beat Rocco Mediate in a play-off for the 2008 US Open, despite a double stress fracture and knee injury which prompted season-ending surgery. And it is just two years since he told Jack Nicklaus ‘I’m done’ during the Champions Dinner at Augusta National, after which he flew straight to London to see the consultant who recommended he undergo what proved to be career-saving spinal fusion surgery.”
Ewan Murray, The Guardian: “Tiger Woods wins the Masters. If ever five words did not do justice to an outcome… Let debate now rage as to where this sits in the pantheon of sporting comebacks. Fourteen years after last donning the Green Jacket, 11 years after last winning a major and 24 months after conceding to friends ‘I’m done’ Woods completed a triumph which rates as extraordinary even by his standards. It seemed poetic for the sensational act to transpire at Augusta National, where Woods began altering the shape of golf back in 1997. Twenty two years on a 43-year-old Woods celebrated more wildly than ever before in the company of his mother and children.”
How the golf world reacted
Rickie Fowler, US golfer: “I saw kind of a light at the end of the tunnel when I spent some time with him a couple of falls ago, seeing him back healthy and able to play. Obviously a lot easier said than done. You have to go out there and actually do it. But I saw the possibility there with what he was doing at home, how he was feeling, how he was swinging. It’s pretty cool. Obviously it’s better for all of us having him play well. It’s pretty impressive.”
Paul Azinger, 1993 PGA Championship winner: “The worst emotion anyone can feel is shame and he had a real dose of it. From elite athlete to the butt of the late night TV joke. He’s turned it all around.”
Butch Harmon, Woods’ former coach: “I think it’s the greatest win he has ever had - in any championship - and he has had so many good ones.”