Tiger Woods wins Masters to claim first major since 2008

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"Congratulations to Tiger Woods, a truly Great Champion!"

Only fellow American Nicklaus has won more Masters, with six. Woods will visit two venues where he's won majors before - Bethpage and Pebble Beach - and another in The Open that will nearly always be his best chance to win a major in a given year. And a new generation of stars he inspired who were younger, stronger and capable.

He won his fifth green jacket, his 15th major, but never with this much raw emotion.

One local industry observer, who requested anonymity for lack of authorization to discuss these numbers, said if the weather had not forced rescheduling, the average rating for Woods' victory likely would have been as high as 12.0, peaking with at least 20 percent of the market's TV homes.

Thomas shot 69 to finish at eight-under-par 280, while DeChambeau (70) was four shots further back. I know that I made a few mistakes the last couple tournaments, but it just felt like it was there.

"It really is a comeback story that I think rivals anything that's ever been written", he said.

Joint Masters runner-up Brooks Koepka expects Woods to challenge Nicklaus's record. For years, he could rarely get through any conversation without someone asking him whether he thought Woods could top his mark. I just couldn't be more happy, more excited.

The last part was delivered in jest.

Others were ruder, but Reed did later shake Woods' hand when they re-enacted the green jacket presentation in front of the fans. He also has made 19 consecutive cuts in the majors after missing his first two, at the 2012 U.S. Open and 2013 Open Championship.

"OK guys, I'm so serious", Williams tweeted.

Just off the 18 green, Woods hugged his mother as he had his late father Earl in 1997 and held his children, his back more than up to the task as the crowd chanted his name, a rare tribute, and rivals congratulated him as he entered the clubhouse.

It was the first time Woods won a major when trailing going into the final round, and he needed some help from Francesco Molinari, the 54-hole leader who still was up two shots heading into the heart of Amen Corner.

And then it became Woods' game - a two-putt birdie to take the lead, an 8-iron that rolled down the slope next to the hole for a signature moment at this Masters. "Just kept, as I said, just kept plodding along". It's great for him to be involved in the game and now he's got his 15th major. His 4-under for the tournament tied for 29th.

The courses are familiar. "Tiger! Tiger" echoing as loud as any of the roars on the back nine at Augusta National.

Woods was 24 when he won the U.S. Open at Pebble, and 26 when we won at Bethpage Black.

Woods lost control off the tee midway through his final round, and the situation looked dire off the tee at 11. He needs breaks like the mere mortals he used to pulverize.

Can he make it to 18 and go level with Jack Nicklaus?

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