Tiger Woods hole-by-hole

How the Masters was won

Tiger Woods, in his own words, on his remarkable final round at Augusta. Includes the clubs he hit, the thought process behind them and some unique vernacular

Tiger Woods had never come from behind in a major to win, and he hadn’t won one since 2008. Then he slipped into the Green Jacket at the age of 43. Here, with some help from the man himself, we take you through the full account of how the Masters was won…

How the Masters was won: Hole-by-hole

1st. Two back overnight, Woods had been up at 3.45am for his 9.20am tee time. A 3-wood gets him on the short stuff and, from 174 yards, he cajoles an 8-iron that looks like settling 15 feet away. But it catches the slope and finishes 20+ feet away. Two putts and a fourth par at the 1st for the week.

2nd. First driver of the day, goes left and there’s a worry that it might have reached the stream. Settles in the pine straw, hooks it out but still has 217 to travel. Pulls out the 4-iron, urges it to ‘go a little’. It does need to, comes up 59 feet short. Putt has 20 foot of break, makes the six-footer for par.

3rd. Iron off the tee, sand wedge to 10 feet after spinning it in with a bit of draw while others are too direct and come up short or long. Year after year after year. Why do they never learn about this Sunday pin?

Slick putt, drops dead centre, touch of the cap. One back.

4th. A 4-iron to the long, downhill par 3 which is either the wrong club or slightly heavy. Finishes short of the green, chips up to 10 feet and lips out.

5th. Three bogeys already this week at the newly-lengthened par 4. Another 4-iron, this time from 218, just finds a corner of the green. First putt goes 10 feet past, second one misses on the right. Second three-putt of the week, fourth bogey at 5.

6th. Bounces an 8-iron in from the right to give himself a 12-footer to get things back on track. Misses on the low side. It’s not happening yet.

7th. A 3-wood fade into the fairway as Molinari goes way left and another 8-iron from 146 yards which is played to perfection, catching the slope and making its way down to kick-in distance.

8th. This time the driver goes so far right that it misses the fairway bunker and is so wide that it leaves him a gap to shunt a 5-wood that lands on the green and finishes just behind the scoreboard pole. Chops his chip forward to eight feet and knocks it straight in. Back to one behind.

“My short game’s been there. I know that I made a few mistakes the last couple tournaments but it just felt like it was there. My hands were good. I kept telling myself to miss the ball in the correct spots, and I did, time and time again.”

9th. Another driver and, this time, a fairway. Leaves another 8-iron which he gets all wrong and leaves himself a 70-foot downhiller. Cue one of the greatest lag putts ever seen on the property. Tiger, who has shown pretty much no emotion all day, has a little smirk.

“I’ve been up there before. I made sure that if I make a mistake on that putt, make the mistake of leaving it short up on that middle ridge. Don’t make the mistake of hitting it too hard and having it go off the front of the green. I can walk away with a three‑putt and still be in the tournament. Just don’t make the mistake long and make six.”

10th. Another big shove right with the fairway wood but no route out so chips back out. You’ve guessed it, has an 8-iron in his hands. Finishes just through the back, putt comes up short and it’s a third bogey.

11th. Out comes the driver and out comes the ‘fore right’ yells. He’s back in the trees where he was on Saturday. There is a shot in but the more likely outcome is a big bail out to the right. He has a 7-iron and he does this with it..

“The tee shot at 11 was awful. I leaned on it, trying to hit it and flight it a little bit and it got stuck underneath there. Had a shot. I just kept saying, if I can just sneak out of here with a par, we have a lot of golf left.”

12th. Another chapter is written into the legend of this hole as a collection of Woods’ closest rivals barely make the slope, let alone the carry. TW aims left with his 9-iron, finishes in the middle of the green as Finau and Molinari head to the drop zone. There’s an element of concern when his first putt comes up six feet short but he makes 3 for the fourth day running.

“I had 47 over the first tongue in the bunker there, and so my number, I was hitting it 50 and just be committed to hitting it 50. I saw Brooksy ended up short. Poults ended up short, as well. When it was my turn to go, I could feel that wind puff up a little bit. Brooksy is stronger than I am, and he flights it better than I do, so I’m sure he hit 9‑iron and didn’t make it. So I knew my 9‑iron couldn’t cover the flag, so I had to play left, and I said, just be committed, hit it over that tongue in that bunker. Let get out of here and let’s go handle the par 5s, and I did.”

13th. Did he slip or just pull it a bit? Either way he gets lucky as, with the cameras trained on the creek, his ball appears appears way down the fairway. He throws the gum out, fires an 8-iron from 161 yards to the safety of the green and two-putts from distance.

14th. Stays true to the driver and produces a high fade into the middle of the fairway. A 9-iron doesn’t release down the slope and the putt slips by. The last three winners here birdied 14, Woods doesn’t.

15th. Another ripped fade followed by a high draw with the 5-iron, trademark Tiger. Two putts gives him the first solo lead here since 2005.

“You saw it on 15 and 17 and even on 18, just little trap‑squeezers out there. I was able to hit both end of the spectrum, low cuts and high draws. That’s not easy to do, so I just really felt that I had that much control in my long game and it paid off.”

16th. Ryder Cup team-mates Bryson DeChambeau and Justin Thomas have already aced the 16th on Sunday and Tiger very nearly follows suit. An 8-iron lands in the funnel and with Woods beckoning it down  – ‘come on, come on, come on’ – to the hole it slides two feet past.

“I almost whooped it at 16.” Goes two clear.

17th. The fade with the chief gives him another 8-iron which gives him a very makable putt which is either misread or mishit. Doesn’t threaten but a safe par.

“I kept telling myself on 17, that tee shot, I said, I’ve been in this position before. I had a two‑shot lead with DiMarco and went bogey, bogey. Let’s go ahead and pipe this ball right down the middle. Hit a little flat squeezer out there and I did, I just smoked it.”

18th. The 3-wood, the same club that got the day started and another squeezed fade round the corner. And the 8-iron, plus ca change. And a third shot from an area that I can’t remember anyone ever playing from before.

A pitch, two putts, a 70, it’s done.

“On 18 I said, ‘Hey, it’s not over yet.’ Arnold lost the tournament and lost the hole with a double. So let’s keep the hammer down. Brooksy could still make birdie up 18 and I could make bogey and next thing you know we’re in a play-off, so let’s get this ball in play. I did, and I saw him tap out for par, and that gave me the cush knowing that I could make bogey.

“I had a little bit of mud on my ball playing that shot (the approach), and I said just make sure I overcut this thing; don’t undercut it. And I did. I whoofed it and hit it over to the right and I was able to put that ball on the green and two‑putt.

“The new green; that damn thing should have broke (laughter). I hit a pure putt. I remember that putt breaking and it just didn’t break. I was saying, it’s not over yet, I’ve still got to make this putt. Come on, just keep it together. Keep focused. Go ahead and make sure that I commit to, even if it’s a 1 1/2‑foot putt; commit, and I did, and knocked it in. And God knows what I did after that.”

How the Masters was won: Greens in Regulation

Round 1: 11/18

Round 2: 16/18

Round 3: 15/18

Round 4: 16/18

Total: 58/72

How the Masters was won: Fairways hit

Round 1: 9/14

Round 2: 7/14

Round 3: 9/14

Round 4: 10/14

Total: 35/56

How the Masters was won: Putts

Round 1: 28

Round 2: 30

Round 3: 30

Round 4: 32

Total: 120

How the Masters was won: That winning feeling

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Mark Townsend

Been watching and playing golf since the early 80s and generally still stuck in this period. Huge fan of all things Robert Rock, less so white belts. Handicap of 8, fragile mind and short game

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