- Tiger Woods won his fifth green jacket at the Masters on Sunday, his first major win since 2008, and the 15th major win of his career.
- Jack Nicklaus, the only player with more major wins than Woods, said he knew Tiger was winning the Masters after his par on No. 12 to take a share of the lead on Sunday.
- Nicklaus said that Woods now had him “shaking in my boots” after his win on Sunday brought him within three major wins of Nicklaus’ record mark.
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Tiger Woods won the Masters on Sunday to complete one of the greatest comeback stories in the history of golf. It was Woods’ fifth win at Augusta National, and his first win at a major since 2008.
While Woods’ victory was not guaranteed until he sank his final putt on the 18th green, for six-time Masters winner Jack Nicklaus, it was all over long before that.
Speaking with the Golf Channel, Nicklaus said that he knew that Woods was going to win the tournament after the par-3 No. 12, where Woods would first get a share of the lead on Sunday.
“I mean there wasn’t any question in mind, after seeing [Francesco] Molinari hit the ball in the water at 12, and Tiger put it on the green,” Nicklaus said. “I said, ‘Tournament’s over.’ It doesn’t make any difference what anyone else is going to do. Somebody is going to make enough mistakes, and Tiger won’t make any, and he didn’t.”
No. 12 was certainly a turning point on Sunday. Heading into the hole, Woods was two strokes off the lead, but after four contenders – including leader Francesco Molinari – hit the water, Woods’ par was good enough to shoot him into a share of the lead.
Even with a share of the lead, Woods would nead a near-perfect second nine to secure the green jacket – at one point there were six golfers tied for or within a stroke of the lead as the final round entered the final few holes. But Nicklaus’ analysis was spot-on; other players made mistakes, Tiger didn’t, and as a result, he left with the green jacket for the fifth time in his career.
Nicklaus also seemed high on Woods’ chances at majors through the rest of the season, and said that he once again believes his record of 18 major wins might be in jeopardy to falling to the rejuvenated Woods.
Per the Golf Channel:
“I felt for a long time he was going to win again,” Nicklaus said. “And, you know, the next two majors are at Bethpage, where he’s won [2002 U.S. Open], and Pebble Beach, where he’s won [2000 U.S. Open]. So, you know, he’s got me shaking in my boots, guys.”
Woods still has a lot of work to do in order to catch Nicklaus, but as things stand, Las Vegas seems to agree with Nicklaus, with Woods opening as the 8/1 favourite to win the PGA Championship at Bethpage Black in May.
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