Masters

Five of Tiger's memorable Masters appearances

2018-04-04 21:47
Tiger Woods (Getty Images)

Augusta - Tiger Woods returns to the Masters after a two-year absence on Thursday. Here's a look at five of the 14-time major champion's most memorable Masters appearances:

1997: First major

Woods blazed to a record 18-under par total in winning his first Masters. At 21, he became the youngest player to win at Augusta National and the youngest major championship winner since World War II. His 12-shot margin of victory over Tom Kite was a Masters record and as the first African-American to win the Masters he expanded the game's audience.

"That was by far the most important tournament I've ever won," says Woods, who has now amassed 14 major titles among his 79 US PGA Tour victories. A key consideration back then -- earning a 10-year exemption on the US tour.

"You guys laugh at it now, but it was the coolest thing in the world," Woods remembered this week.

2001: Tiger Slam

Woods became the first golfer to hold all four major trophies simultaneously, carding three straight rounds in the 60s on the way to a two-stroke victory over David Duval.

Woods compared the anticipation for that tournament to the excitement his latest injury return has sparked this week.

"The build-up was from the PGA of 2000 to the Masters of 2001 - nine months of building up, what that tournament would mean," he said. "And it's the same thing -- I've got to go play and then let the chips fall where they may."

2002: Back-to-back

A third-round 66 keyed a victory that made Woods just the third golfer, after Jack Nicklaus in 1965-66 and Nick Faldo in 1989-90 to repeat as Masters champion.

2005: The Chip

Woods was locked in a last-round battle with Chris DiMarco when he produced a shot that has become part of Masters lore. Having missed the green at 16, Woods aimed his chip well left of the pin to let the ball funnel down the slope toward the hole. For an agonizing moment it paused on the lip of the cup before tumbling in. He would go on to beat DiMarco with a 15-foot birdie putt at the first playoff hole.

2010: Back from the wilderness

Woods chose Augusta National to make his return to competition more than four months after humiliating revelations of infidelity that wrecked his marriage and sent sponsors fleeing.

He finished a creditable equal fourth in a tournament won by Phil Mickelson, but not before Augusta National chairman Billy Payne took him to task in a pre-tournament address in which he said Tiger had "disappointed all of us, and more importantly, our kids and our grandkids."

Asked this week to reflect on whether he was treated too harshly then, Woods deflected, replying with a smile: "I'm really excited to play the Masters this week."

Read more on:    masters 2018  |  tiger woods  |  golf
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