Masters 2024: Tiger Woods found redemption on the hallowed ground of Augusta with his 2019 win after scandal, injury and arrests… and taught fans why you should NEVER count him out, even five years on

April 8, 2024

Five years ago, Tiger Woods clinched his fifth Masters win in comeback fashion It marked the end of a 11-year major championship drought for the golf icon provides all the latest international sports newsFive years ago, Tiger Woods delivered a Masters Sunday like no other. Woods in his Sunday red was a sight golf fans were well acquainted with. He’d done it four times before after all. But the 2019 Masters wasn’t just another major win, it was his greatest.This was a golfer who had first won at Augusta National by 12 shots at the ripe age of 21, who claimed the 2000 US Open by an incredible margin of 15 and who triumphed on Torrey Pines at the same major eight years later on a broken leg.To him, the impossible challenges were like matador capes to a bull. But 2019 was more than just a challenge, it was a redemption arc. And it shouldn’t be deemed sacrilege to say it’s one of the greatest sporting comebacks of all time – one no one saw coming until the final seven holes of golf’s hallowed ground.Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau, two members of the new guard inspired by Woods-dominated era, led after Day One at the 2019 edition of the tournament. A suggestion that the sport had moved on from the days of Tiger.Five years ago, Tiger Woods delivered a Masters Sunday like no other at Augusta NationalThe golf icon won his fifth Green Jacket in one of the greatest sporting comebacks everI put my night sweats down to early menopause – it was actually late stage blood cancerMade In Chelsea star QUITS the show after bitter split from fellow cast member and describing filming the E4 series as ‘anxiety inducing’Emergency crews rescue van driver stuck in deluge as nearly 300 flood warnings are in place across the UK with 75mph ‘danger to life’ gales on the way after Met Office issues urgent yellow weather warningsYet, in true Tiger fashion, he clung on. With a third round of 67, he clawed his way into Sunday’s final grouping alongside leader Francesco Molinari and Tony Finau.But still the rolling slopes of Augusta National presented a mountain to climb. For Woods to prevail, he would have to break an unwanted record.Never before had Woods won a major championship from a position of trailing with 18 holes to play. And that’s exactly where he found himself standing on the first tee of the final round, two shots back of Molinari.The group teed off around five hours earlier than usual due to the weather concerns that were expected to sweep across Augusta later in the day.’The skies are gray but the air is filled with anticipation,’ was the iconic line Jim Nantz delivered on the broadcast but even that anticipation couldn’t quite set the stage for what was to come.At first it appeared Woods’s latest major championship would follow the same pattern. He fell three shots behind Molinari after two bogeys on his front nine.Meanwhile, Molinari, the 2018 Open Champion who had lifted the Claret Jug after a final round with Woods at Carnoustie, remained as stoic as ever. That was until he found himself in Rae’s Creek and the Italian’s cool composure cracked.The forecasted storms hadn’t quite arrived but the winds whipped around Amen Corner. Pathetic fallacy for Molinari but nothing Woods couldn’t storm.The then-43-year-old trailed Francesco Molinari by two shots heading into the final roundThe Italian’s cool composure cracked when the grouping reached Augusta’s infamous 12thRELATED ARTICLESAmanda Holden, 53, strips NAKED in the Heart FM studios before co-host Jamie Theakston demand she ‘put a top on’Claire Sweeney and Ricky Hatton spark romance rumours as they enjoy cosy night out together after both starring on Dancing On Ice’You’re weak, pathetic cowards’: Mother of footballer Cody Fisher who was knifed to death on nightclub dancefloor in Boxing Day ‘revenge’ attack calls for tougher knife crime sentences after her son’s killers are jailed for 25 and 26 yearsKanye West’s wife Bianca Censori goes without ANY underwear in shocking X-rated sheer outfit – as pair hold hands for a date night in LA’Amen Corner, where we have no earthly idea what’s going to happen,’ announcer Frank Nobilo prophesied. How right he was. Golden Bell was the site of carnage as both Molinari and Finau found the water, watching their Masters dreams drown along with their balls.Up stepped Woods, flicking his tee shot safely on to the green for a steady par. It wasn’t just a golf shot. It was a turning point that became a historic moment.Woods was pitiless as he stared down Finau and Molinari who scrambled to recover from the watery deaths of their tee shots. The familiar relentless edge roared back into Woods’ legendary game and remained throughout the remaining six holes.Two incredible birdies on 15 and 16 saw him close out a final round of 70 for the Green Jacket, holding off the American trio of Dustin Johnson, Xander Schauffele and Brooks Koepka by one stroke.’I still had the hands to do it. The body is not the same, but I still had good hands,’ said an understated Woods in the Butler Cabin later.ADVERTISEMENTAfter holing out his final putt for bogey to ensure his one-shot lead on the 18th, Woods flung his arms into the air before embracing his children and his mother Kultida who stood in the same place she had 22 years earlier for his first.It’s a sight that will be burned into memories of The Masters for years to come. Gone was the ghost that the golfing icon had been reduced to and in his place was a player who had sought redemption in the Cathedral of Pines that is Amen Corner.It’s only been five years, yet already it’s a moment that is spoken about with such reverence, almost instantly woven into the oral history of Augusta National.Woods was pitiless as he stared down Molinari and Tony Finau after they found the waterThe 15-time major winner safely found the middle of the green to make a parMolinari’s woes continued, while Woods made birdies at the 15th and 16th to take the leadYet, it’s not just because of what he had produced on the golf course but what he had overcome off it throughout the decade before.The victory reverberated further than sport. After a fall from grace, his personal life dragged through the mud, and four back operations, the once flawless athlete was left scandalized.The road to redemption was long, and at times appeared never-ending, but he silenced the doubters.Only a few years prior, it would have been unimaginable that Woods would stand on the 18th green of Augusta National surrounded by his family as the darling of the golf world once again.In 2009, he found himself trapped in the grip of scandal when news of extramarital affairs flooded the public domain, forcing him to issue a public apology.And even his clubs couldn’t save him from the off-course controversy as amid the noise of scandal, Woods’ performances on the fairways regressed with the injuries following.And just two years before the 2019 edition of the Masters, he had been metaphorically left for dead by the golfing world when Woods – slumped and slurring – was arrested in Florida on a driving under the influence charge, his alarming mugshot leaving fans startled.He had won tournaments in 2013 and 2014 during his long road back to redemption but not one of the four he so desperately coveted.It had been unimaginable that he would be surrounded by his family as the darling of golf againWoods embraced his children – son Charlie (right) and daughter Sam – and his familyJust two years prior, Woods was arrested in Florida on a driving under the influence chargeIt was a drought that had dragged on for so long that it had dried up his trophy cabinet into a golfing desert wasteland.And it seemed like the rain would never come, especially with a back that had been surgically repaired four times. But finally, Augusta – and its 12th-hole creek – had provided an oasis.So long had the drought gone on that even his children hadn’t seen him win triumph on the major stage.’My kids got to see what it’s like to have their dad win a major championship,’ Woods said. ‘I hope that’s something they will never forget.’But it wasn’t just his own children – daughter Sam and son Charlie – who witnessed Woods’ greatness for the first time.For a whole generation of young sports fans, Woods’ major victories were mere legends passed down by their parents. They weren’t real memories they could treasure, recalling where they were when he won his fifth, sixth, 10th, 14th major.But with his 15th in 2019, Woods not only cemented his legacy but also ensured that it spanned across generations.All of a sudden, the talk of Woods’ reign having come and gone had transformed into chatter about whether or not he could match Jack Nicklaus’s record of 18. Chatter that hasn’t really stopped.The 82-time winner on the PGA Tour made another miraculous return at the 2022 MastersNot even his 2021 could truly extinguish the flames of hope. It poured cold water on the dreams for sure, but he stoked the dying embers once again with a miraculous return in azalea pink in 2022.’I would never count Tiger Woods out at the Masters because he loves and knows Augusta so well, and that triggers very positive vibes,’ said Bernhard Langer, who has