Fourteen years had passed since Tiger Woods had put on the fabled Green Jacket at Augusta National Golf Club. It was fair to wonder if the greatest golfer of this – and probably any – generation would ever be a Masters champion again.
But a strong, if not spectacular, final round on April 14, 2019 saw the now five-time Masters champion return to his glory days, winning in come-from-behind fashion. While the final nine holes of the tournament were strong for Woods, it was his play on Friday and Saturday that set him up for the championship. Let’s take a look at how it all played out:
Brooks Koepka started the 2019 edition of the Masters off strong. One of the world’s top golfers, Koepka fired a 66, joining Bryson DeChambeau at the top of the leaderboard on Thursday night. Koepka was coming off wins at the PGA Championship and US Open. And DeChambeau was hot, closing the round with six birdies on the final seven holes. Phil Mickelson was one shot back after a 67. Tiger, meanwhile, was four shots back in 11th place, after an opening-round 70.
|T1||Bryson DeChambeau||United States||66||−6|
|Brooks Koepka||United States|
|3||Phil Mickelson||United States||67||−5|
|T4||Dustin Johnson||United States||68||−4|
|Justin Harding||South Africa|
|Kevin Kisner||United States|
A wild second day ended with five different golfers – all of which had won a Major at some point in their career – tied atop the leaderboard with 7-under 137 scores. Koepka had company from Jason Day, Francesco Molinari, Louis Oosthizen and Adam Scott. Four more golfers were just one shot back at 6-under, including Woods and the No. 2 golfer in the world – Dustin Johnson. Woods vaulted up after a 68.
|Brooks Koepka||United States||66-71=137|
|Louis Oosthuizen||South Africa||71-66=137|
|T6||Justin Harding||South Africa||69-69=138||−6|
|Dustin Johnson||United States||68-70=138|
|Xander Schauffele||United States||73-65=138|
|Tiger Woods||United States||70-68=138|
A strong 66 on moving day saw Molinari vault to a 2-shot lead after the third round. Notably, 65 players made the cut to the weekend, a Masters record, and a sign of how the calm weather was keeping scores very low.
Tony Finau and Woods ended the round just two shots back of Molinari. Finau, Webb Simpson and Patrick Cantlay all shot 64 in the third round. That’s never happened at the Masters.
|T2||Tony Finau||United States||71-70-64=205||−11|
|Tiger Woods||United States||70-68-67=205|
|4||Brooks Koepka||United States||66-71-69=206||−10|
|Webb Simpson||United States||72-71-64=207|
|T7||Justin Harding||South Africa||69-69-70=208||−8|
|Dustin Johnson||United States||68-70-70=208|
|Matt Kuchar||United States||71-69-68=208|
|Louis Oosthuizen||South Africa||71-66-71=208|
|Xander Schauffele||United States||73-65-70=208|
Looming thunderstorms led to a frantic early start to the final round, and led to players being sent out in groups of three instead of the traditional weekend twosomes. Molinari appeared to be on his way to a Green Jacket, but his tee shot on 12 went into Rae’s Creek. That was the beginning of the end of Molinari, and gave Tiger a spark. Woods took a one-shot lead after a birdie on the 15th hole, and never looked back, winning his 15th Major championship – but for the first time after trailing after 54 holes.
|Place||Player||Country||Score||To par||Money ($)|
|1||Tiger Woods (c)||United States||70-68-67-70=275||−13||2,070,000|
|T2||Dustin Johnson||United States||68-70-70-68=276||−12||858,667|
|Brooks Koepka||United States||66-71-69-70=276|
|Xander Schauffele||United States||73-65-70-68=276|
|Tony Finau||United States||71-70-64-72=277|
|Webb Simpson||United States||72-71-64-70=277|
|T9||Patrick Cantlay||United States||73-73-64-68=278||−10||310,500|
|Rickie Fowler||United States||70-71-68-69=278|