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Tiger Woods, Master of the Game


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April 14th, 2019, will go down as one of the most memorable days in the history of North American Sport. One of those moments where people will ask where you were in 25 years. Tiger Woods wins his 5th Masters and his first in 14-years, perhaps the greatest comeback in Sports History.

For the first time in Masters History, the Final Round was played in threesomes and the players went off of split tees due to a massive incoming thunderstorm. Francesco Molinari who won last years Open Championship beating Tiger on the final day began the day with a two-shot lead over Tiger and Tony Finau, three shots behind Molinari sat Brooks Kopeka the man who had won three of the last seven Major Championships played. All three men in the Final Threesome made Pars at the first, Molinari’s exceedingly difficult from 15 feet. All three also parred the Par Five 2nd hole, Kopeka in the group ahead birded that hole and he was within two of Molinari and tied with Woods and Finau.

At the 3rd hole, Tiger made his first birdie of the day while Molinari and Finau each made Par, and he was within one. However, at the Par 3, 4th a poor tee shot left Tiger with his first bogey of the day and Molinari’s lead was back to two. On the 5th hole, Molinari hit his first bad tee shot of the day pushing it into the right woods, Tiger laid back with a 3-wood and found the fairway. Neither hit a good approach shot, but Molinari got up and down for Par, and Tiger three-putted from the fringe for his 4th bogey at the 5th hole this week and he was three back, Finau made his first bogey of the day at the 5th as well and Molinari’s lead was three. At the 6th Molinari made the biggest mistake on that hole hitting it too long, but like he had done all week he salvaged Par from impossible situations. On the 7th hole a turning point, Molinari hit another poor tee shot and did not hit a good escape shot either, while Woods stuffed his approach shot to a foot from the hole for an easy tap in birdie. Molinari didn’t get up and down for Par this time, his first bogey of the day dropped his lead to one shot.

At eight all of the final group made birdie on the Par Five, Molinari was one ahead of Woods and Kopeka and two ahead of Finau. All Pared the 9th, and as the saying goes the Masters really beings at the 10th hole on Sunday. A poor tee shot led to a bogey for Tiger his 3rd of the day, Molinari once again got up and down from an impossible situation and his lead with back to two Finau makes bogey himself and is now three back. At 11, Woods pushes another tee shot into the right trees, while Molinari finds the fairway. Woods escapes from the trees and onto the green from where he two putts for par, Molinari misses a big opportunity as his birdie putt lips out. Up ahead on 12, Kopeka pulls 9-iron on the dangerous hole and comes up short putting it in the water leading to Double Bogey. So Molinari still led by two as the Final Threesome went to the 12th tee box, it looked like he was unstoppable. Molinari pulled 9-iron and came up short and the ball rolled back in the water, Woods then stepped up and went right over the bunker the safe play and found the middle of the green. Finau then stepped up and put the ball in the water himself, Woods safely two-putted for Par, both his playing partners made Double-Bogey.

Up ahead, Kopeka got both his strokes back with an Eagle and joined Molinari, and Woods at -11. Well ahead Patrick Cantlay makes an Eagle at 15 to move to -12 and take the lead, but makes bogeys at 16 and 17 and finishes at -10. At 14, Xander Schauffle makes birdie at 14 and he gets to -12, Woods and Molinari both birdie 13 to join him. A big moment at 15, as Schauffle misses a huge birdie opportunity. Both Woods and Molinari par the 14th hole and move to 15 tied. Molinari hits a poor tee shot, Tiger finds the fairway, Molinari puts his lay-up in a bad shot while Woods finds the green in two. Then Molinari makes a fatal mistake his pitch catches a branch of a low hanging tree and falls into the water and a double bogey ends his chances. Woods two-putts for birdie and takes the lead by himself by one over Kopeka, Tiger hits and 8-iron to two feet and makes another birdie and his lead is two. Kopeka misses as a birdie at 17, while Tiger makes Par. Up ahead Kopeka leaves himself a simple birdie putt to cut the lead to one and put pressure on Tiger, but he misses it and Tiger needs bogey or better to win. He finds the fairway, and lays up, right of the green pitches it onto 12 feet and needs to putts to win. He hits the first one to 2 feet and makes the tap in bogey and Tiger Woods completes an incredible comeback story he wins his first Masters in 14-years and first Major in 11-years. He walked off the green to hugs from his son Charlie and his daughter Sam, his mom Kultida, and girlfriend Erica a scene very similar of his hug with his late father Earl in the very same spot 22-years ago when he won his first Masters in 1997. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house, then at the awards presentation, 2018 Champion Patrick Reed helped Tiger into the Green Jacket for the 5th time, 2nd only to Jack Nicklaus. A truly unbelievable, memorable day that nobody watching will ever forget.

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