Tiger Woods celebrates on the 18th. Picture: Getty
Tiger Woods celebrates on the 18th. Picture: Getty

Debate over: Tiger Woods is the GOAT

The argument's over: Tiger's the greatest.

As near Biblical conditions closed in on Augusta, Tiger Woods, 43, stared down golf's next generation to claim his fifth green jacket and 15th major - 11 years and four back surgeries after his last.

Sure Jack has 18 - and won one here at age 46 - but the game's never known a comeback like this.

There's roars here at Augusta reserved only for him.

"He's hunted them down and now he's in for the kill," three-time Masters winner Nick Faldo said as Woods almost aced the par-three 16th.

"Two years ago at the champions dinner he said; 'I'm done. I can't play golf, my back is done."

But in his trademark final-round red, Woods overcame history and a shaky front-nine to fend off Italian Ice Man Francesco Molinari and a string of back-markers.



The turning point came at the fabled 12th hole, where Woods found land and his main rivals the drink.

Surely no athlete has ever achieved a more remarkable return?

Tiger's life began to spiral in Melbourne in November 2009 when a sensational story detailing his affair with New York socialite Rachel Uchitel broke in the National Enquirer.

Uchitel had been holed up with Woods in his Crown casino hotel room, as he played and won the Australian Masters, igniting a scandal that derailed his world.

His divorce cost more $100 million, and then his body succumbed to years of physical toil.

Four back operations later, including spinal fusion surgery in April 2017, Tiger is back.

"It's come full circle," Woods said.

"My dad was here in '97 and now my kids are here and I'm the dad."