While we’re all still unsure whether or not Tiger Woods will grace Augusta National this month, as the Masters rolls around again, one thing’s for certain – he’s a record-breaker. With five wins in the first major of the year, Woods is just one green jacket away from levelling Jack Nicklaus’ record of six Masters titles. So, while you check out the latest golf betting odds ahead of the 2022 Masters, let’s take a look back at Woods’ five titles.
5) 2002: a third Masters title
While no less impressive than the others, when Woods won the 2002 Masters, it marked a second consecutive title, and the American became the third golfer to successfully defend the green jacket. It was also in 2002 that the course was lengthened by 285 yards.
After the first round there was an 11-way tie for 7th with Woods one of those who scored 2-under par. And from there, he moved up the leaderboard – scoring 3-under in the second round before being tied for the lead after the third. Both he and South African Retief Goosen recorded a score of 11-under for 54 holes and in the final round, Woods was never really threatened – and despite scoring 71, he finished three strokes ahead of Goosen to secure that hat-trick of Masters titles.
4) 2001: the Tiger Slam
Having won the PGA Championship, Open and US Open in 2000, Woods added to his long list of accolades with victory in the 2001 Masters – making him a grand slam winner, albeit it, not with all four victories coming in a calendar year.
A tournament low of 7-under gave Chris DiMarco the lead after round one, with Woods tied for 15th, with a score of 2-under. However, he soon bolted up the leaderboard, and after round two, was T2 alongside Phil Mickelson. Another score in the 60s sent him to the lead, although Mickelson was still on his heels, and Woods ended up finishing with a score of 16-under par to land the Tiger Slam, two strokes ahead of David Duval.
3) 2005: play-off victory
Three years on from landing the coveted green jacket, Woods was back for more – and won the Masters in impressive style. Torrential rain had put a dampener on proceedings, with play delayed for much of the week, and that reflected in some of the scores.
After round one, Woods has landed 2-over par, and was left with a mountain to climb, but a score of 6-under in round two soon put him contention – as he moved up to third place. Round three took place over two days due to the rain, and the American took the 54-hole lead, with a score of 65, and in a thrilling final round, it was a two-man duel between Woods and DiMarco – the former scoring 68, and the latter, 71, to both end with a tally of 12-under. Woods won the play-off by a single stroke, after burying his 15-foot birdie putt.
2) 2019: Tiger’s back!
Not quite making it to the number one spot, Woods’ most recent Masters win takes the runners up place. His victory at Augusta in 2019 marked his first major title in 11 years and 14 years since he last won the green jacket. He also became the second-oldest golfer to win at Augusta.
It had been another slow start with many wondering if Woods had what it takes to win another major title – he was T11 after round one, and T6 after round two (albeit one of four players who were one stroke behind the leading pack). In the third round, Woods landed a score of 67, which moved him up to second place and tied with Tony Finau. And weather conditions interrupted play in the final round, with the players grouped in threes. Woods was grouped with Francesco Molinari and Patrick Cantlay, and in the final three holes landed a birdie, par and bogied the final hole to win the Masters by one stroke.
1) 1997: a first major championship
Where else to finish but with Woods first major title, and the largest winning margin in Masters history. Woods’ score of 12 strokes ahead of runner-up Tom Kite still stands as the biggest deficit today.
As has been a theme across many of his victories, Woods suffered a slow start and turned over 4-over par after the first round. However, in the second and third rounds, he scored the best rounds each day (66-65) and opened up a nine-shot lead over his rivals. His final round score of 69 not only meant that he had beaten Kite by 12 strokes, but also ended the tournament 18-under par, which was a tournament record – eventually broken by Dustin Johnson in 2020. At the age of 21, he also became the youngest Masters winner.