‘The great­est come­back since Muham­mad Ali’

Tiger Woods wins fifth Masters, 14 years af­ter last putting on the Green Jacket

The Daily Telegraph - - Front page - By Paul Hay­ward Chief Sports Writer in Au­gusta

Tiger Woods staged one of the great­est come­backs in sport­ing his­tory by win­ning the Masters, 11 years af­ter his last ma­jor golf cham­pi­onship vic­tory and 14 years af­ter he last wore the tra­di­tional

Green Jacket here. The nor­mally staid Au­gusta Na­tional Club has never wit­nessed such emo­tional scenes.

Af­ter Woods tapped in a putt on the 18th green to win by a shot he strode into the arms of his chil­dren, daugh­ter Sam and son Char­lie, mother Kul­tida and part­ner Erica Her­man as the crowd chanted, “Tiger, Tiger.”

Woods’ come­back will be com­pared with Muham­mad Ali re­turn­ing from three years in ex­ile to win the heavy­weight boxing cham­pi­onship or Ben Ho­gan’s re­turn to the pin­na­cle of golf af­ter a car crash nearly killed him in 1949.

Most of us con­sid­ered it im­pos­si­ble for Woods to win an­other ma­jor and had begun to see him as a faintly tragic fig­ure un­til he won a tour­na­ment in Atlanta last au­tumn.

As thun­der­storms bore down on Amer­ica’s most ex­clu­sive golf club,

Woods marched up the fi­nal fair­way to end a 3,955-day wait for a vic­tory in one of the game’s four defin­ing tour­na­ments. In be­tween, chaos in his per­sonal life, four back op­er­a­tions and a calami­tous loss of form led many to be­lieve he was fin­ished at this level.

Two years ago Woods needed a “nerve block” in­jec­tion just to at­tend the Cham­pi­ons’ Din­ner at the Au­gusta Na­tional Club.

Af­ter win­ning with a 13 un­der par score Woods said: “I was try­ing to plod my way round the golf course all day. Then all of a sud­den I had the lead com­ing up 18 and I was try­ing to make a five. When I tapped the putt in on 18 I don’t know what hap­pened but I re­mem­ber scream­ing.

“It’s over­whelm­ing just be­cause of what’s tran­spired. Last year I was just very lucky to be play­ing again.”

At Au­gusta he said: “Twenty two years [since his first Masters win] is a long time. My mum was here in ’97 too so I just couldn’t be hap­pier. This was one of the hard­est I’ve ever had to win.

“It’s come full cir­cle. My [late] dad [Earl] was here in 97 and now I’m the dad with two kids here.”

Woods has now won 15 ma­jors – three be­hind Jack Nick­laus’s record.

Bri­tain’s three-time Masters cham­pion Nick Faldo called it “the great­est scene in golf ever”.

Barack Obama was among a host of lead­ing fig­ures to pay tribute to the ex­tra­or­di­nary come­back. “To come back and win the Masters af­ter all the highs and lows is a tes­ta­ment to ex­cel­lence, grit, and de­ter­mi­na­tion,” the golf-lov­ing for­mer US pres­i­dent said. Twenty-three time Grand Slam win­ner Ser­ena Wil­liams wrote on Twit­ter: “I am lit­er­ally in tears watch­ing @Tiger­woods this is Great­ness like no other.”

Tiger Woods roars af­ter sink­ing his putt to win his fifth Masters ti­tle at the Au­gusta Na­tional Club’s 18th green

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