Love him or hate him, Tiger Woods is one of the greatest golf players of all time and one of the biggest household names from the sport.
It has been 23 years since Woods won his first US Masters title, at the age of 21, and, despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, he will be competing at this year’s tournament. Here, we take a look back at his successes at the Augusta golf course and whether or not he can add a further title to his collection in the golf US Masters odds.
Back in 1997, Tiger Woods was a young up and comer, tipped for success in his career. Few could have predicted the level of success he would go on to achieve. Less than a year after turning professional, he was playing in his first Masters and got off to a fantastic start. After the first round, he was in fourth position, two under par and three shots behind the leader, John Huston.
His second-round score of 66 propelled him into first position, three shots ahead of Scotland’s Colin Montgomerie. The Scot fell away in the third round, allowing Woods to open up a greater lead. Scoring a mouth-watering 65, he sat on -15, nine shots ahead of Italy’s Constantino Rocca in second. While Woods could only manage a round of 69 in the final round, he still managed to extend his lead, winning the US Masters with a comfortable lead of 12 shots, ahead of fellow American Tom Kite. It was a magnificent victory for a 21-year old Woods, and the first of five Masters victories.
2001 – The Birth of the Tiger Slam
The 2001 US Masters victory signalled the beginning of the Tiger Slam, as Woods became the first player to win four consecutive major titles, not in the same calendar year. In contrast to his first US Masters title, Woods didn’t get off to such a good start in 2001, failing to get inside the top ten after the first round.
He made up for it in the second and third rounds, climbing up to a tied-second place with Phil Mickelson after round two. In round three, he took the lead after a score of 68, just one shot ahead of Mickelson. He repeated his score of 68 in the final round, to hold off challenges from Phil Mickelson and David Duval to claim his second Masters title.
2002 – Consecutive titles
2002 signalled a second consecutive Masters title, his third overall. It was quite a packed field after the first round, with Woods being one of 11 players who were tied in seventh place. Woods would begin to break away in the second round, lying in tied fourth with four other players.
By the time the third round was over, Retief Goosen of South Africa was sitting in top spot. But he wasn’t alone. Thanks to a good score of 66 in round three, Tiger managed to tie for first place. Now it came down to the final round. Goosen shot 74 in the final round, leaving Woods with the perfect opportunity to secure his third US Masters title. He didn’t waste that opportunity, shooting 71, to finish three shots clear of Goosen on twelve under par.
2005 – Title number four
Tiger Woods was on top of the world by 2005, certainly being the biggest household name in the sport at the time. It was another slow start for Woods at Augusta, failing to get inside the top ten after round one. He soon showed his worth in round two though, scoring an incredible 66 to leave him in third place, although he was six shots behind Chris DiMarco, who held a strong lead.
By the end of the third round, DiMarco had capitulated, scoring 74, while Woods shot 65, reversing their fortunes and leaving Woods with a three-shot cushion heading into the final round. But the drama didn’t end there, as DiMarco shot 68 to pile the pressure onto Woods. With a 71 for the final round, the American pair ended level and had to face each other in a playoff.
This playoff was the first at Augusta to start at the 18th hole, and Woods defeated his opponent by one shot to claim his fourth US Masters title.
2019 – Five Star Victory
Woods will head into 2020’s tournament as the defending champion, having won last year with a score of 13 under par, one shot clear of Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Xander Schauffele. Woods again found himself outside the top ten after the first round, but was soon back among the leading group, sitting in tied sixth after round two, just one shot off the leaders.
Round three left Woods in tied second position, just two points off Francesco Molinari in first and in the final round, he was able to fight off all comers to claim his fifth victory.