Tiger Woods’ legacy as an all-time sporting great was already cemented long before a memorable fifth Masters triumph on Sunday.
Battles with form and fitness have hampered Woods in recent years, but there was a time when the statistics around his dominance were barely believable.
His victory at Augusta is one that will reverberate around the world, given the 43-year-old’s struggles for much of the past decade.
Following his stunning success, we look at Woods’ greatest moments to date.
Back in green.#themasters pic.twitter.com/n2LfjOtjfQ
— Masters Tournament (@TheMasters) April 14, 2019
Having turned professional a year earlier, Woods – an already prodigious talent – earned the first of his major titles in sensational fashion at the Masters in 1997.
A record low score of 270 (later matched by Jordan Spieth), the biggest margin of victory at Augusta (12 shots) and the youngest Masters champion. Not bad going for a 21-year-old.
Gutsing it out against Garcia
Two years on and along came another player tipped for golfing superstardom in Sergio Garcia.
A 19-year-old Garcia, who started the final round of the US PGA Championship two shots adrift of Woods and Mike Weir, threatened to derail his rival’s hopes of a second major by moving into a one-shot lead.
But Woods, not for the first time, pulled out all the stops – including a stunning escape from behind a tree en route to glory at Medinah.
Making history at Pebble Beach
By 2000, Woods’ star was approaching its zenith and at that year’s U.S. Open he produced the most dominant performance in major history.
Not only was his 15-stroke margin of victory the largest ever in one of golf’s premier strokeplay events, he was the only player that weekend at Pebble Beach to finish under par.
Grand Slam complete
Just a month later and Woods was in dominant form again as he triumphed by eight shots to win The Open at St Andrews.
Of even more significance, the victory saw Woods become the fifth player to achieve the career Grand Slam and, at the age of 24, he was the youngest to do so.
Completing the ‘Tiger Slam’
The accolades just kept on rolling and, by the following March, Woods achieved something no other player has done before or since.
By winning the Masters, Woods was in possession of all four major titles. As he did not do so in the same year, it was not recognised as a single-season Grand Slam, thus it became dubbed the ‘Tiger Slam’.
That shot at Augusta
By going almost three years without winning one of golf’s big four, Woods, by his own remarkable standards, suffered something of a drought during the mid-noughties.
But that changed at a dramatic 2005 Masters. Starting three shots ahead of Chris DiMarco on the Sunday, Woods endured a mixed round but pulled clear with one of the greatest moments in the tournament’s illustrious history.
A chip from behind the green began well left of the pin, turned at 90 degrees and rolled towards the hole. Agonisingly, the ball stopped on the edge of the cup before dropping in after what felt like a lifetime.
Woods went on to bogey the next two holes, but eventually triumphed via a play-off.
An emotional Open victory
Woods went through personal tragedy in May 2006 after his father Earl passed away.
Following the loss of his father, Woods played a reduced schedule but held off a star-studded cast – again including DiMarco – to win by two shots at The Open.
There were tears aplenty, not just from Woods, after the most emotional of victories.
Memorable Mediate battle
The most unlikely of Woods’ 15 major victories, at least until this week, came when he somehow won the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines despite being hampered by serious injuries to his left leg.
What is more, Woods even came through a 19-hole play-off with Rocco Mediate, an incredible feat given his lack of fitness. He took the rest of the year off after prevailing.
80 not out
Many, including Woods himself, questioned if he would play again, let alone win again, as he struggled badly with a succession of back injuries in recent years.
Yet you can never write off a competitor like Tiger and he ended a five-year winning drought in style at East Lake, sealing his 80th PGA Tour victory at the 2018 Tour Championship.
Five times a Master
If returning to the winner’s circle was phenomenal enough, Woods was not finished there.
After contending at the U.S. Open and US PGA Championship in 2018, he sensationally won the Masters for a fifth time on Sunday, coming from behind for the first time in the final round of a major.
Francesco Molinari was two clear with 18 – and seven – to play, but the day belonged to Woods as he triumphed to spark jubilant celebrations.