Tiger roar resonates at Augusta again

Tiger roar resonates at Augusta again

Tiger Woods celebrates his triumph.

Tiger Woods won the 83rd Masters on Sunday, capturing his 15th major title to cement an epic return from scandal and injuries that once threatened his career.

Woods, who started the day two shots behind Francesco Molinari, fired a final-round 70 for a 13-under par total of 275 and a one-shot win over Dustin Johnson, Xander Schauffele and Brooks Koepka.

Woods, clad in bright red, raised his club and fist to the sky then hugged his mother and two children after sinking a short bogey putt to seal the win as the crowd erupted in chants of “Tiger! Tiger! Tiger!”

Woods had birdied the par-five 15th hole to take a one-shot lead and stretched it to two strokes with a birdie at the par-three 16th as Molinari’s challenge faced with double bogeys at 12 and 15.

Woods’s majestic march to victory was made to the accompaniment of the roars of the Augusta National crowds -- those watching him and those who saw his name go up atop the leaderboards around the course.

The 14 years between his fourth Masters triumph and his fifth topped the previous longest gap of 13 years between Gary Player’s 1961 win and his 1974 title.

In the third round on Saturday, Molinari had surged two shots clear. It had been an almost flawless Masters for Molinari, who has carded just a single bogey through three rounds. The Italian turned in another error-free effort on Saturday, signing for a six-under 66 to top the leaderboard at 13-under.

Joining him in the last group was be Woods, who also paired with the Italian in the final round at Carnoustie, after the American electrified the massive galleries with a five-under 67, his best score at Augusta National since 2011 when he shot rounds of 66 and 67.

“He (Woods) obviously loves this place and he’s playing great golf,” said Molinari. “So I’m aware that it’s not going to be easy tomorrow, I can just do my best. “But it’s not like I can only worry about him. There’s a lot of guys I think in with a chance.”

Woods and Molinari was accompanied in the final round by Tony Finau, who matched Woods’s 11-under total with a dazzling eight-under 64 that featured a Masters record-equalling front nine of six-under 30.

Lurking one shot further back was twice US Open champion Brooks Koepka, who scrapped his way to a three-under 69 to trail Molinari by three.

With the forecast calling for heavy rain and thunderstorms late on Sunday officials decided to send golfers off in threesomes from both the first and 10th tees rather than traditional pairs in an attempt to get the final round completed and avoid a Monday finish to the year’s first major.

With Woods chasing his first major title since the 2008 US Open, and first Green Jacket since claiming his fourth in 2005, ‘Tiger-mania’ had again reached fever pitch.

Even United States President Donald Trump, who has golfed with Woods at his Mar-a-Lago resort, said on Twitter he was looking forward to Sunday’s final round. Woods was in contention on the final day at the last two majors but was unable to get over the line.

He led on the back nine of the British Open before being overtaken by Molinari and finished runner-up at last year’s PGA Championship.