Tiger Woods completed one of the most remarkable comebacks in sporting history on Sunday as he won the 2019 Masters by one shot almost 11 years on from his last major victory.
There have been times over the last decade when the golfing world thought they may never see Woods compete again, let alone win one of the most coveted prizes in sport—the green jacket:
Bleacher Report @BleacherReport
One of the greatest comebacks in sports history. 2008: Wins US Open on torn ACL 2010: Neck injury 2011: Sprained MCL, Achilles 2012: Achilles injury 2014: Back surgery 2015: Back surgery 2017: Back surgery 2019: Wins Masters (first major since 2008) https://t.co/kchT1PmjUV
Along with his fifth green jacket, and first since 2005, Tiger also took home the winning prize money of $2,070,000 from Augusta National.
Aside from the amateurs in the field, every player who competed last week in Augusta, Georgia, took home a cheque, with those missing the cut receiving $10,000 apiece of the $11.5 million purse.
Per Augusta.com, here is the breakdown in prize money for all of the top 10:
1. Tiger Woods (-13): $2,070,000
T2. Dustin Johnson (-12): $858,667
T2. Xander Schauffele (-12): $858,667
T2. Brooks Koepka (-12): $858,667
T5. Jason Day (-11): $403,938
T5. Webb Simpson (-11): $403,938
T5. Francesco Molinari (-11): $403,938
T5. Tony Finau (-11): $403,938
T9. Jon Rahm (-10): $310,500
T9. Patrick Cantlay (-10): $310,500
T9. Rickie Fowler (-10): $310,500
Not only did many of Woods' fans think they had seen the last of him not so long ago, the 43-year-old nearly threw in the towel after being reduced to a shell of his former self by a succession of injuries:
Jason Sobel @JasonSobelTAN
THERE IT IS. HISTORY. TIGER WOODS HAS WON HIS 15TH MAJOR. One of the most improbable comebacks in sports history. From personal scandal to recurring injury, Tiger himself doubted whether he'd ever even play competitive golf again. And now he's the Masters champion once more.
However, two top-10 finishes in the last two majors of 2018—the Open and US PGA Championship—proved he may be on the comeback trail, and then he returned to the winner's circle at the Tour Championship last September.
Despite an unspectacular start to 2019, Woods still went into the Masters among the favourites—though there can't have been many who truly believed he would take one step closer to overhauling Jack Nicklaus' all-time record of 18 major championships.
By the time he nestled his tee shot to two feet at the par-three 16th for a kick-in birdie, the doubters were converted:
A par and a bogey saw him to victory and a 15th major title.
There will now be few betting against him doing the same in a month's time at the US PGA:
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Woods' 2019 Masters victory is the quality of competition he overcame.
Of the seven players that finished immediately behind him at Augusta, five were major winners.
And the majority of the players battling against him in the back nine on Sunday had idolised Woods in his 2000s heyday.
The likes of Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Jason Day, Rickie Fowler and Jon Rahm have been waiting for the opportunity to go head-to-head with perhaps the greatest golfer of all time down the stretch at a major.
They got that chance on Sunday, but none were up to the task of eclipsing Woods, who will now have Nicklaus' record firmly in his sights.