Tiger Woods has accomplished just about everything during his Hall of Fame golf career, but he managed to do something he had never done before en route to winning his 15th major championship on Sunday.
Woods entered the final round at the Masters at 11-under, which was two shots back of then-leader Francesco Molinari. While it may be difficult to believe, Tiger had never come from behind on the final day of a major to win. In his previous 14 victories, four of which came at the Masters, Woods had the lead heading into the final round and never looked back.
Like most winners at Augusta National, Tiger got some help from other players at the top of the leaderboard who made crucial mistakes. That said, it is still remarkable that Sunday was the only time in his career he came from behind to win. What a way to capture your fifth green jacket.
Tiger Woods was married to ex-wife Elin Nordegren the last time he won a major back in 2008. Then his golf career was derailed after she discovered he was cheating on her. Nothing was a better symbol of how much his life has changed since then than the group there to support him as he attempted to win his first major since 2008 — and fifth Masters overall.
Woods’ mother, children Sam and Charlie, and girlfriend Erica Herman were all there supporting:
Tiger's family pic.twitter.com/vUdbKs1CrH
— CJ Fogler (@cjzer0) April 14, 2019
Sam was born in 2007 and didn’t know her dad as the major-winning machine. Charlie was born in 2009, after he had won his last major. And Herman was the symbol for his new life since his highly-publicized divorce.
Herman and Tiger have been public with their relationship since Oct. 2017. He has started to come around in his golf career — three back surgeries later — and is getting back on track.
Dustin Johnson knows that the fan support for Tiger Woods is different from anything else.
Johnson was among a group of players contending for the lead at the Masters on Sunday. After he completed his round, shooting a four-under 68 to finish 12 under, he talked about the experience. While Johnson said he had fun, he noted how much different the support for Tiger was than anyone else.
“It was a lot of fun today. You could hear the roars, and you can definitely tell the difference between a roar for me or a roar for Tiger (Woods). But I had a lot of fun out there today,” Johnson said in an interview with CBS’ Amanda Baliones.
Xander Schauffele also talked after he completed his round about the energy from the crowd.
“The crowds are incredible. I just sort of fed off the crowds. I was hearing roars from behind, which sort of pushed me forward,” Schauffele said.
The fans had been waiting a long time — since 2008 — to see Tiger win another major. You can understand why they were so fired up. He inspired a total mob scene with his Tour Championship win in Atlanta in September, so the fan support was not a surprise.
Tiger Woods turned back the clock with his performance on the back nine at the Masters on Sunday, and another athlete who understands the meaning of domination appeared to be taking it just as seriously as the 14-time major champion.
Woods hit one of his best shots of the day at the par-3 16th hole, leaving himself with a tap-in birdie to take a two-shot lead. He intensely stared down the shot while it was in the air, and Michael Phelps was shown standing behind him with an almost identical look on his face.
Michael Phelps is enjoying Tiger's final round at the Masters. pic.twitter.com/4VYBuNJA6K
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) April 14, 2019
Few people understand what Tiger is going through more than Phelps, so it’s no surprise he appeared to be enjoying the ride.
Woods got some help during the final round when other players at the top of the leaderboard went into meltdown mode, but all in all he turned in one of his best performances in a very long time.
The Masters moved up its schedule for Sunday’s final round due to the possibility of severe weather later in the day, and Tiger Woods has given us an idea of just how much of an impact that will have on the golfers.
Tee times will begin at 7:30 a.m. ET off the Nos. 1 and 10 tees, with the leaders teeing off at 9:20 a.m.
Since the tee times are beginning so early, Tiger said Saturday that he will be waking up around 3:45 a.m. to get his routine started.
How will Tiger prepare for his early tee time Sunday?
"I'll wake up around 4 a.m., maybe 3:45 a.m… Start the process of getting this body ready and get after it."
Anyone else going to wake up at 3:45 with Tiger tomorrow?
— GOLF.com (@GOLF_com) April 13, 2019
Tiger shot a 5-under 67 on Saturday and will enter the final round as part of the last threesome, joining Tony Finau (also -11 for the tournament) and Francesco Molinari (-13). For comparison, Molinari said he would probably wake up in the 6:00 a.m. hour.
This is a great spot for Tiger to be in, especially after Friday’s scare.
Tiger Woods came up hobbling after hitting a shot at the Masters on Friday because he was tripped by an overeager security worker.
Woods was hitting his second shot on the par 4 14th hole from off the fairway. He lined up his shot through trees and ended up on the green with a great shot. Unfortunately, Tiger came up limping and was shown grimacing in pain.
A video replay showed that Woods was clipped by a security worker who slipped while racing over to try and keep the crowd back and away from Woods.
— Dave Holmes (@DaveHolmesTV) April 12, 2019
The worker was not trying to go Grayson Allen on Woods but was rather just trying to do his job well. Instead, he nearly took out the golfer.
Tiger ended up sinking a putt for birdie on the hole and did not seem bothered by the scare.
Tiger Woods had an incredible stretch of play at the WGC-Match Play on Friday, and the highlight came when he made a shot from the fairway that resulted in an eagle.
Woods found himself 1 down in his match against Patrick Cantlay heading into the 11th hole, and he birdied the par-3 to square the match. He then birdied the 12th hole to take a 1-up lead, and he went 2-up with an eagle on the 13th. He accomplished that feat with an absolutely perfect second shot from the fairway that looked like it was on a string.
— WGC-Dell Match Play (@DellMatchPlay) March 29, 2019
Tiger had yet another birdie on the 14th to go 3 up with four holes remaining.
Woods entered the match against Cantlay with a record of 1-1 in group play, so he needed a win to advance to the knockout stage. That four-hole stretch was a perfect example of why he is so tough to beat, and Phil Mickelson could tell you all about how quickly Tiger can turn things around in match play.