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A magical day for both Tiger Woods and golf at the Masters

/ 11:35 AM April 15, 2019
Tiger Woods Masters

Tiger Woods reacts as he wins the Masters golf tournament Sunday, April 14, 2019, in Augusta, Ga. (Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

AUGUSTA, Ga. — They crowded hundreds deep around the 18th green, roaring when those lucky enough to be in front signaled the first sight of Tiger Woods in his familiar red coming up the fairway.

Up by the clubhouse, the kitchen help stood in white jackets and hats, much like a previous generation did all those years ago. In front of them, a group of young people working this week as trash pickers tried unsuccessfully to find a piece of higher ground to witness history.

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Few in the huge throng had any hope of seeing anything. But they could hear, and on this day that was enough.

Off to the side of the green, the Woods children had a much better view. His daughter, Sam, was a year old when dad won his last major championship and son, Charlie, had yet to be born.

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They had watched last summer as Woods tried desperately to break his major championship drought at the British Open, only to come up just short.

“I wasn’t going to let that happen to them twice,” Woods said.

On a magical afternoon at Augusta National, there was no chance of that happening. Woods didn’t let them or any of his millions of fans around the world down on a day that will live in Masters lore, already thick with Woods’ achievements.

This wasn’t his signature win from 22 years ago, when he was the young phenom who thrilled the country by romping to victory for the first time at Augusta National.

But it seemed just as good, just as satisfying, both to him and the massive galleries that did all they could to try and will him to a win.

“To come back here and play as well as I did and did all the things — all the little things well this week, and to do it here,” Woods said, choking up at the thought. “This has meant so much to me and my family, this tournament, and to have everyone here, it’s something I’ll never, ever forget.

At the age of 43, he’s a major champion again after fighting his way through a leaderboard filled with young talent, most who list Woods as a golf hero. He seized control of the tournament with near kick-in birdies on the 15th and 16th holes.

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That got him his fifth green jacket, but this meant more. So much more.

All the doubt. All the doubters.

All the issues no one ever expected Woods to have.

“I don’t know of a better comeback in sports in my lifetime,” former champion Zach Johnson said.

America got up early to watch Woods try and win a major from behind for the first time, after tee times were moved up nearly six hours because of threatening weather.

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TAGS: Golf, Masters, Tiger Woods
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