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Masters 2019: Tiger Woods wins 15th major with thrilling Augusta victory

Tiger Woods produced a scintillating finish to win a fifth Masters title and end an 11-year wait to claim a 15th major.

There were raucous celebrations around the 18th green as Woods finished with a two-under-par 70 to win on 13 under, one clear of fellow Americans Dustin Johnson, Xander Schauffele and Brooks Koepka.

The 43-year-old, written off by so many so often as he battled back problems in recent years, punched the air in delight, a wide smile across his face, before celebrating with his children at the back of the green.

It is the first time Woods has come from behind in the final round to win a major and it his first Masters victory since 2005.

He is now just one behind Jack Nicklaus’ record of six wins at Augusta National and three behind his fellow American’s overall major tally of 18.

Overnight leader Francesco Molinari’s hopes sunk with two double bogeys on the back nine and he had to settle for a share of fifth on 11 under.

No stopping Woods’ march to glory

Molinari, who played with Woods in the final round as he won The Open last July, dumped his tee shot into Rae’s Creek at the front of the green and walked off with a double-bogey five.

Tony Finau, also in the final group, followed Molinari in the water to drop back to eight under.

The more experienced Woods, who was playing his 22nd Masters, played to the heart of the green and two-putted for par to join Molinari at the top of the leaderboard on 11 under.

That par was cheered like a birdie by the thousands of patrons who have followed his every stroke this week, alerting more and more to join the party and roar Woods home.

Others were challenging from behind with Schauffele and world number two Johnson posting four-under-par 68s to set the clubhouse target at 12 under.

Molinari faded further after hitting his third shot into the pond guarding the 15th green and from that moment there was no stopping Woods’ relentless march to the title.

A par on the 17th left the world number 12 with a lead of two shots going up the last – only Brooks Koepka, who has won three of the past seven majors, could realistically put any pressure on but the American missed an eight-foot birdie putt to stay at 12 under.

Woods appeared to chunk his second shot to the 18th, leaving it well short of the green and could only chip on to 14 feet. But a straightforward two-putt sealed the win.

Double bogey costs Molinari Masters lead

Analysis

Former Ryder Cup captain Paul Azinger: “I never thought I’d see it. I thought he was done. He whispered to a champion at the Champions Dinner once that he was done. Since the fused back he has been a living, breathing, walking miracle. To perform at this level, it’s something you behold.”

BBC golf correspondent Iain Carter: “What an extraordinary story and what scenes at Augusta. The hug with his mother, his son is leaping into his arms, the chants of Tiger everywhere. It is all about this man who dominated golf. I have never seen him celebrate like that.”

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