Rory McIlroy may have headed into Sunday's conclusion of the Masters poised for victory, but he left stunned and jacket-less as South Africa's Charl Schwartzel took top honors. But nearly as impressive as Sunday's victory in Augusta, Georgia, was the return of a newly energized Tiger Woods of yesteryear.
Before the scandal, the dropped sponsors and the divorce, Woods was an exceptional talent and the scope of his skill was once again seen on Sunday. Golf.com's Gary Van Sickle explains that Woods' last-day push at the Masters showed the extent of the golfer's skill:
"He loudly announced his return on this sunny, humid afternoon in Georgia, and it was a beautiful thing to see again, no matter what you think about him," Van Sickle writes. "He birdied the second and third holes with vintage precise shots and putts. He stuffed an iron shot close at the sixth for another birdie, and followed it with his fourth of the day on the seventh hole."
But that wasn't all. If four straight birdies weren't enough to announce the return of the Masters' youngest winner, then maybe "a hooking 3-wood that scampered onto the green like an Olympic sprinter and rolled to a stop 10 feet from the cup" did. Though Woods came up short and showed his trademark frustration during his post-round interview, his performance was stellar.
But is it too early to declare Woods is back to the form that made him golf's golden boy throughout the 2000s? According to Van Sickle, it’ll all come down to what he does on the greens:
"How far Tiger's resurgence goes will depend on his putting. He dominated for so long because he was the best putter of his generation. Like the great Jack Nicklaus, Woods seemed to make every putt he needed to make, every putt that mattered. He probably didn't, but that's what we remember about Tiger. And Jack, too.”
With the Masters over, here's what else you have to look forward to:
Miami Heat vs. Atlanta Hawks (7 p.m. ET) - The Heat will be looking to move closer to locking in a No. 2 seed when they take on the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena.
BY THE NUMBERS
76 – Winless streak ended by Roush Fenway driver Matt Kenseth with his win under the lights at Texas Motor Speedway. Brant James reviews the five things he learned from a wild weekend at TMS.
27 – Number of points scored by LeBron James in the Heat's faceoff against the Boston Celtics.
1984 – The year Minnesota Duluth made its last title appearance in the NCAA hockey championship. The team took home its first-ever title in a thrilling 3-2 victory over Michigan on Saturday. Sarah Kwak relives the action here.
I was following tigers round on my phone and it was truly exciting to see the scores being posted on the site
Thanks for the memories
"Charl Schwartzel became the first international golfer to take top honors."
First international to win the Masters?? Kidding, right!
It doesn't matter whether a Winner like Tiger Woods goes through a bad period or not: he's still a Winner.
I hope that Woods always knows exactly who he is.
I saw Tiger's score after 9 holes and thought he might post another incredible back nine to win it.If he had posted 3 under on the back nine ,the rest of the pack would have crumbled and he would have won his 5th Master
Desmond is a funny name :). R u a boy or a girl?
Now that I can freely nail down any piece of female real estate I want you'll all notice the improvements :D
@Desmond...tall order. (-3 sunday back nine) I was impressed with Tiger's play. Actually I was more impressed when child Tiger hammed it up with The Tonight Show. No, before people started trying to fill-in for Johnny Carson. Leno was a 2-bit comic when Tiger was on the show w/Johnny and that egg shaped dude. (McMahon) Doc Severnesen...yewwww) Anyway...I wanted Rory to win. (shrug) and it's not like golf really matters. (so much for making it through even one day without a lie) Golf is Life. I cannot imagine life without golf. How many people would i have strangled by now if not for playing golf? he he
Woods hasn't won at Augusta since 2005. Phil has won 2 of the last 6 at Augusta. Woods hasn't won a Major since June 2008. If Woods had to compete with the Watsons–Players–Palmers–Trevinos–Floyds–Ballesteros–Grahams all who won at least 3 and as many as 8 majors during Jack's time then his record would and should be questioned! Woods has competed against only 2 players to win at least 3 majors ( Phil and VJ ). VJ hasn't won a Major since?
Yes, Woods is a great golfer but is doing it against a less than stellar field!!
@ Phillip i miss johnny so much. ILL post one of my favorites tonight before i in to bed for ya.
higher gas prices?? "Auto Insurance Clearance" is one very cool site! who would've known that browsing for auto insurance companies here in California would be this fast and easy? great concept and i got quotes with just a few clicks of my mouse!
I don't understand why when another golfer wins a tournament the bulk of the news story is still about Tiger Woods. They don't do this in any other sport accept football when Brett Favre is playing. Imagine some guy winning the world series through hard work and dedication only to have to read about the losing teams' star player over and over and over again. Get off Tiger's nuttz media. The guy can't go #2 without someone writing a page 1 story about how efficiently he wipes. I'm amazed the writer even bothered to name the winner before stroking Tiger's scr-ote.
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