Professional golfer Tiger Woods has broken an 11-year major losing streak to win the Masters for the fifth time in his career with an overall 14-under par for his first win of 2019.
In only his second PGA Tour win since 2013, Woods overcame difficult putting on Thursday and the surging weekend performance of Italian Francesco Molinari and fellow American Tony Finau to outpace the two who ended up struggling in the back nine holes. Molinari, who held on to the lead for much of Saturday and Sunday, began to flounder after hitting into two water hazards and two double bogeys on holes 12 and 15, relinquishing the lead to Tiger who birdied six holes while hitting bogeys in three.
The victory is Woods' 81st PGA Tour win, his 108th professional golfing win, and his 15th major championship. While Woods has multiple golfing records to his name, records for PGA Tour wins and major championships still elude him. Woods is only one win away from matching Sam Snead's 82-win record for most PGA Tour victories and is three major victories away from tying the record for most major wins, held at 18 by golf legend Jack Nicklaus.
This marks the fifth time Woods has won the Masters, one away from tying the record at six, also held by Nicklaus. Winners of the tournament are awarded a green jacket to go along with a trophy and monetary prize of just over $2 million.
Tiger Woods has won the Masters.— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) April 14, 2019
His 81st PGA TOUR win.
His 15th major title.
His 5th green jacket.#LiveUnderPar pic.twitter.com/xC8165hypE
President Trump, who golfed with Woods in February at Trump National Golf Club in Florida, celebrated Woods' surge in the back nine, urging citizens to watch and ultimately cheering for who he called a "truly great champion."
"Congratulations to @TigerWoods., a truly Great Champion!" Trump tweeted.
Congratulations to @TigerWoods., a truly Great Champion!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 14, 2019
Trump has been a fan, and golfing companion, of Woods for several years with tweets about the golfer going back to mid-2013, including presenting Woods with the trophy for his victory in the World Golf Championship – Cadillac Championship trophy in 2013.
Since 2016, Trump has tweeted multiple times about meeting up with Woods to play a round. Trump noted after their latest session that Woods looked great and predicted in September 2018 that Woods had another "big win" in his future.
Everyone is asking how Tiger played yesterday. The answer is Great! He was long, straight & putted fantastically well. He shot a 64. Tiger is back & will be winning Majors again! Not surprisingly, Jack also played really well. His putting is amazing! Jack & Tiger like each other.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 3, 2019
Tiger is playing great. Looks like a big win could happen. Very exciting! @TigerWoods— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 23, 2018
Trump tweeted praise for Woods in August 2018 after reporters pushed Woods to denounce Trump in some of his biggest return interviews, but Tiger refused to get caught up in political debate.
"The Fake News Media worked hard to get Tiger Woods to say something that he didn’t want to say," Trump tweeted. "Tiger wouldn’t play the game - he is very smart. More importantly, he is playing great golf again!"
The Fake News Media worked hard to get Tiger Woods to say something that he didn’t want to say. Tiger wouldn’t play the game - he is very smart. More importantly, he is playing great golf again!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 27, 2018
Woods fell from the very top of golf in 2013 following several back issues and a contentious divorce from then-wife Elin Nordegren in 2010. Woods won five events in 2013, but would only win one other match before Sunday's major victory.