Woods and Molinari set for back-nine Masters showdown

Woods and Molinari set for back-nine Masters showdown

Woods and Molinari set for back-nine Masters showdown

Racing to finish before an oncoming thunderstorm, players created their own electric atmosphere, spectators roaring repeatedly for sensational shotmaking on one of golf's iconic stages at Augusta National, where Woods won his first major title in 1997.

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.

The 43-year-old Woods shot a 2-under 70 for one-stroke victory Sunday and his 15th major championship.

Woods' 13-under 275 saw him finish the day one shot clear of Dustin Johnson, Xander Schauffele and Brooks Koepka, with Molinari a further shot back on 11 under.

Woods parred 17 and walked up to the 18 green to crowds 20-people deep applauding with delight, but he kept a stoic visage until the job was complete, a tap-in for bogey followed by a fist pump and a scream of joy in celebration of a fairytale fightback like few others in sporting history.


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

On a day when Augusta National, which had been softened by rain earlier in the week, was yielding low scores Koepka could only muster a three-under-par 69 that left him alone in fourth place and three shots back of leader Francesco Molinari.

Yes, he's a major champion again. But on Sunday it was Molinari who slipped up, with the 36-year-old from Turin finding the water at the 12th and 15th. The two double bogeys ended his Green Jacket bid.

It is said the Masters does not truly begin until the back nine on Sunday and that held true as Woods and Molinari parred the ninth to head into the turn with everything to play for.

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