(WEEI) - For the last decade, it seemed like this would never happen again. There was his infidelity scandal and divorce, multiple back surgeries, and an arrest for driving under the influence. It all felt like too much. It appeared Tiger Woods would remain stuck on 14 major championships, four behind Jack Nicklaus' record.
But last year provided hope that Tiger might still have a comeback in him after all. He was competitive throughout the year and wrapped up the major season with a second-place finish at the PGA Championship.
On Sunday, Tiger officially completed the comeback and regained his place at the top of the golf world. On a day that saw as many as eight golfers within one shot of the lead at one point, Tiger separated from the field on the back nine and won the Masters for the fifth time, the first since 2005. It was his 15th major win overall and first since 2008, and the first time he came from behind in the final round to do so.
Tiger finished 2-under on the day and 13-under on the tournament, one stroke ahead of Dustin Johnson, Xander Schauffele and Brooks Koepka.
Tiger began the final round, which started in the morning rather than the afternoon due to rain in the forecast, in the final group two strokes behind Francesco Molinari. Back-to-back bogies on the fourth and fifth holes made for an early speed bump, but Molinari would run into his own issues on the back nine in the form of a pair of double bogies, dropping him out of contention.
Johnson, Schauffele, Koepka and Jason Day all had strong final rounds to put themselves in position, but Tiger was too much. The decisive run came on holes 13-16. After birdying 13 and making par on 14, Tiger birdied 15 to move into sole possession of the lead for the first time all weekend. An outstanding tee shot on 16 set up another birdie to make it a two-stroke lead.
A par on 17 maintained the two-stroke lead heading to 18 and set up a comfortable two-putt to win it. With the Augusta National patrons on their feet, Tiger walked onto the 18th green and made the short bogey putt to win it before pumping his fist, tipping his cap and allowing emotion to overcome him.