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In pictures: Tiger Woods wins 15th major title after thrilling success at the Masters

AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 14: Tiger Woods of the United States celebrates with the Masters Trophy during the Green Jacket Ceremony after winning the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 14, 2019 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 14: Tiger Woods of the United States celebrates with the Masters Trophy during the Green Jacket Ceremony after winning the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 14, 2019 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Tiger Woods celebrates his winning putt at the 2019 Masters tournament.
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 14: Tiger Woods of the United States celebrates with the Masters Trophy during the Green Jacket Ceremony after winning the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 14, 2019 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 14: Tiger Woods of the United States celebrates with the Masters Trophy during the Green Jacket Ceremony after winning the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 14, 2019 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Tiger Woods reacts as he wins the Masters golf tournament Sunday, April 14, 2019, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 14: Tiger Woods of the United States celebrates after sinking his putt on the 18th green to win during the final round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 14, 2019 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 14: Patrons cheer as Tiger Woods of the United States celebrates after sinking his putt on the 18th green to win during the final round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 14, 2019 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 14: Patrons cheer as Tiger Woods of the United States celebrates after sinking his putt on the 18th green to win during the final round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 14, 2019 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 14: Tiger Woods of the United States celebrates after sinking his putt on the 18th green to win during the final round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 14, 2019 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
Tiger Woods celebrates with his son Charlie Axel as he comes off the 18th hole following his Masters victory.
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 14: Tiger Woods of the United States celebrates with his son Charlie Axel and manager Mark Steinberg as he comes off the 18th hole in honor of his win during the final round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 14, 2019 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 14: Tiger Woods of the United States celebrates after sinking his putt on the 18th green to win during the final round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 14, 2019 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 14: Tiger Woods (L) of the United States celebrates with caddie Joe LaCava (R) on the 18th green after winning during the final round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 14, 2019 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 14: Tiger Woods (L) of the United States celebrates with caddie Joe LaCava (R) on the 18th green after winning during the final round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 14, 2019 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 14: Tiger Woods of the United States celebrates after sinking his putt on the 18th green to win during the final round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 14, 2019 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 14: Tiger Woods of the United States embraces his chief spokesperson, Glenn Greenspan, as he comes off the 18th hole in celebration of his win during the final round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 14, 2019 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 14: Tiger Woods of the United States embraces his manager Mark Steinberg as he comes off the 18th hole in celebration of his win during the final round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 14, 2019 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 14: Tiger Woods of the United States embraces his manager Mark Steinberg as he comes off the 18th hole in celebration of his win during the final round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 14, 2019 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 14: (EDITOR'S NOTE: This image has been converted to black and white.) Patrons cheer as Tiger Woods of the United States celebrates after sinking his putt on the 18th green to win during the final round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 14, 2019 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 14: (L-R) Tony Finau of the United States congratulates Tiger Woods of the United States on his win on the 18th green during the final round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 14, 2019 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 14: Tiger Woods (R) of the United States celebrates with caddie Joe LaCava (L) on the 18th green after winning during the final round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 14, 2019 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 14: Tiger Woods of the United States looks on from the 18th green during the final round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 14, 2019 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 14: Tiger Woods of the United States celebrates after sinking his putt to win during the final round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 14, 2019 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 14: Tiger Woods of the United States celebrates after sinking his putt to win during the final round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 14, 2019 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Tiger Woods smiles as he walks off the seventh tee during the final round
Tiger Woods smiles during the final round of the Masters at Augusta.

By Gareth Hanna

Tiger Woods has won his 15th major title with the victory at the end of the most thrilling of final days at the Masters.

Less than two years after dropping out of the world's top 1,000 golfers having undergone spinal fusion surgery and 11 years on from his last major title, Tiger finished the week a shot ahead of a three-way tie for second at Augusta.

"I thought he was done but he's obviously not," said Paul Azinger. "Since the fused back, he's been a living, breathing, walking miracle. It's something to behold. I just love the fact that when walked off that green, he greeted his son. What a moment."

Padraig Harrington also said he doubted Woods' ability to become a major champion again.

"Even if you said yes, you were being polite, that was it," he said. "Trying to be nice. Where he went to - he couldn't chip, struggling off the tee. What I saw today was when he got in contention, he became the old Tiger. He just got the job done.

"18 or 19 (major titles) is now possible, maybe probable. The only thought for him would be those majors going forward.

"He's definitely shown today that when he gets into that place, he became a different player. If he needed to make four up the last, he would have made it."

It's a fifth green jacket for Woods and the 43-year-old is now just three titles shy of Jack Nicklaus' major record.

Remarkably, it's the first time Woods has ever won a major title when he did not hold the 54-hole lead.

Francesco Molinari had started the day with a two-shot lead over Woods and Tony Finau.

The first key swing came on the seventh when Molinari struggled to a bogey five while Woods made three.

That cut the Italian's lead to just one at the turn.

And the Open Champion's challenge began to fade when he found the water at the par three 12th. He was in the water again at the par five 15th. Double bogeys on each and that was the end of his hopes of another major title.

That was because Woods was beginning to find his form. Level par for the day through 10, he sensed an opportunity when Molinari got wet and made the most of it, carding three birdies in four holes from the 13th to the 16th to open up a two-shot lead over Xander Schauffele, Brooks Koepka and clubhouse leader Dustin Johnson, in at -12.

When neither Schauffele or Koepka could increase their total, a bogey on the last was enough for Woods. There was some drama remaining as his second shot came up well short as he cut it round a tree. A solid chip left him 10 foot from glory with two shots to get there.

He almost holed the birdie attempt but when it ran two feet by, it seemed as if he was milking every ounce of drama out of the occasion.

But he was never going to miss the bogey putt to win by one.

Rory McIlroy closed his tournament with a Sunday 68 to end on five under par for the week in a tie for 21st.

"Even today I didn't play too  dissimilarly to the last couple of days," he said. "I just kept the mistakes off the scorecard. I played the par fives well and didn't make the mistakes I did in the first couple of days. That's why the score's better.

"My game's in a good place. I didn't quite have it this week but there are three more majors to play and I'm happy with everything. It wasn't my week but there are plenty more weeks ahead where it might be."

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