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The Masters

April 15, 2019

Historic win by Tiger Woods at The Masters

     In a morning that started at 3:45 A.M. for Tiger Woods, he ended the day embracing his children, and mom on the 18th hole of Augusta as Masters Champion once again.

Tiger Woods rallied to win the Masters for the fifth time Sunday in front of a worldwide audience willing him to victory ahead of the impending storm front headed straight at them.

Woods had gone nearly 11 years since he won his last major, 14 years since that green jacket was slipped over his Sunday red shirt. He closed with a 2-under 70 for a one-shot victory.

Molinari collapse

After playing rock-solid golf for 3+ rounds, leader Francesco Molinari opened the door for Woods - and others. Molinari hit his tee shot into the water at No. 12 and his third shot on No. 15 ended up in the drink as well.

The 36-year-old Italian went 49 straight holes without a bogey at one point during the tournament. But a couple of bad swings erased all that good work in a hurry.

''From my point of view, it's just a step along the way,'' Molinari said. ''I think it wasn't my day today. That ball on 12, if it is one yard further left it goes in the bunker (instead of the water). The third shot on 15, it could easily have not clipped the tree.

''Sometimes it's your day. Sometimes it isn't.''

Molinari said he hit an 8-iron on the decisive 12th hole. Last year's British Open champion said the wind was difficult to judge on Sunday and he didn't always have the control he wanted. He rolled into the water.

''We picked the right shot.'' Molinari said. ''I just didn't hit it hard enough. Simple as that. It was tough today with the wind gusting. I managed to scramble well on the front nine. I just had a couple mental lapses on the back nine that were costly.

''But it is what it is.''

It looked like Molinari might run away with his second major in two years during the first part of the round. He made six straight pars as others faltered. When he walked to the No. 7 tee box, he had a three-shot lead, looking unfazed by what was happening around him.

He made bogey on No. 7 to end his par-or-better streak at 49 holes, but recovered with a birdie on No. 8. At the turn, he was still two shots ahead.

But the first double bogey on 12 dropped him into a tie for the lead. The second on 15 sent him tumbling out of contention.

''You cannot open the door to those kinds of great players,'' Molinari's caddie Pello Iguaran said. ''So you see what happens.''

By the time 18 approached, the roars from the crowd had turned toward Tiger. The opportunity for his second major title had disappeared.

''I'm really happy of the way I felt out there,'' Molinari said. ''I was calm, collected, never panicked - even after the first double bogey. I learned a lot of things today.

''I did a few things I wish I had done differently now, but I learn from my mistakes.''

Family reunion

A victorious Woods scooped up his 10-year-old Charlie, born a year after Woods won his 14th major at Torrey Pines in the 2008 U.S Open. He hugged his mother and then 11-year-old daughter Sam, and everyone else in his camp that stood by him through a public divorce, an embarrassing DUI arrest from a concoction of painkillers and four back surgeries, the most recent one just two years ago to fuse his lower spine.

Woods won his 15th major, three short of the standard set by Jack Nicklaus. It was his 81st victory on the PGA Tour, one title away from the career record held by Sam Snead.

With the final group still in the 15th fairway, there was a five-way tie for the lead. And that's when Woods seized control, again with plenty of help. Molinari's third shot clipped a tree and plopped straight down in the water for another double bogey. Woods hit onto the green, setting up a two-putt birdie for his first lead of the final round. The knockout punch was a tee shot into the 16th that rode the slope just by the cup and settled 2 feet away for birdie and a two-shot lead with two holes to play.

Woods finished at 13-under 275 and became, at 43, the oldest Masters champion since Nicklaus won his sixth green jacket at 46 in 1986.

Dustin Johnson (68), Brooks Koepka (70) and Xander Schauffele (68) tied for second. Molinari (74) was another stroke back with Jason Day (67), Tony Finau (72) and Webb Simpson (70).

The Masters

The 2019 Masters begins Thursday, Apr. 11, 2019 from Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia.

Dire weather reports for the final round of the Masters prompted officials on Saturday to announce an unprecedented split-tee off in addition to an earlier start.

Chairman of Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Tournament Fred Ridley announced that groupings and tee times for the final round were adjusted after threats of severe weather threatened to delay the game.

“The safety of everyone on our grounds is paramount,” he said in a statement.

The 65 players will be grouped in threes, with half teeing off at the first and the other half on the 10th. The official start will be 7:30 a.m., as opposed to the customary afternoon start.

Ridley said the earlier start and split-tee is an attempt to avoid dragging the tournament on for another day.

All times Eastern

Round 4 -- Sunday, April 14

Round 4 start time: 7:30 a.m.

The Masters is played each year at Augusta National. It’s the only one of the four men’s major championships that is played on the same course every year.

Zach Johnson on 13 at The 2019 Masters

April 8, 2019

The last man invited to The Masters

    Corey Conners claimed his first PGA Tour victory and earned an invite to the Masters on Sunday, winning the Valero Texas Open less than a week after qualifying.

Conners is having a decent season, having finished second at the Sanderson Farms Championship and T-3 at the Sony Open. But he's playing this season on conditional status, meaning that even with those results he had to head to a Monday qualifier to try to earn one of the last four spots in the field at TPC San Antonio. He qualified, then the Canadian shocked the field in the final round with 10 birdies and his first career PGA Tour victory.

The win brings with it the 87th and final spot in next week's Masters. It also means he won't have to worry about any more Monday qualifiers until at least 2022.

''My wife got an email this morning letting her know we could check in for our flight back home,'' Conners said. ''I told her, 'Aw, don't check in yet. Maybe we can make other plans.' Big change of plans. It was going to be an off week. I'm glad it won't be.''

Conners played in the Masters just once before, missing the cut in 2015 as an amateur after losing in the finals of the 2014 U.S. Amateur. He became the first player to go from Monday qualifier to the winner's circle on Tour since Arjun Atwal won the 2010 Wyndham Championship.


Ran DeBord - All Access Sporting News


The 2019 Masters

Who's gonna be playing?

The 87 players who are eligible and expected to play in the 83rd Masters, which starts Thursday. Players listed only in the first category for which they are eligible.

MASTERS CHAMPIONS: Patrick Reed, Sergio Garcia, Danny Willett, Jordan Spieth, Bubba Watson, Adam Scott, Charl Schwartzel, Phil Mickelson, Angel Cabrera, Trevor Immelman, Zach Johnson, Tiger Woods, Mike Weir, Vijay Singh, Jose Maria Olazabal, Bernhard Langer, Fred Couples, Ian Woosnam, Sandy Lyle, Larry Mize.

U.S. OPEN CHAMPIONS (five years): Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Martin Kaymer.

BRITISH OPEN CHAMPIONS (five years): Francesco Molinari, Henrik Stenson, Rory McIlroy.

PGA CHAMPIONS (five years): Justin Thomas, Jimmy Walker, Jason Day.

PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP WINNERS (three years): Webb Simpson, Si Woo Kim.

U.S. AMATEUR CHAMPION AND RUNNER-UP: a-Viktor Hovland, a-Devon Bling.

BRITISH AMATEUR CHAMPION: a-Jovan Rebula.

ASIA-PACIFIC AMATEUR CHAMPION: a-Takumi Kanaya.

LATIN AMERICA AMATEUR CHAMPION: a-Alvaro Ortiz.

U.S. MID-AMATEUR CHAMPION: a-Kevin O'Connell.

TOP 12 AND TIES-2018 MASTERS: Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm, Cameron Smith, Marc Leishman, Tony Finau, Charley Hoffman, Louis Oosthuizen, Justin Rose.

TOP FOUR AND TIES-2018 U.S. OPEN: Tommy Fleetwood.

TOP FOUR AND TIES-2018 BRITISH OPEN: Kevin Kisner, Xander Schauffele.

TOP FOUR AND TIES-2018 PGA CHAMPIONSHIP: Stewart Cink.

PGA TOUR WINNERS SINCE 2018 MASTERS (FULL FEDEX CUP POINTS AWARDED): Satoshi Kodaira, Andrew Landry, Aaron Wise, Bryson DeChambeau, Kevin Na, Michael Kim, Brandt Snedeker, Keegan Bradley, Kevin Tway, Matt Kuchar, Charles Howell III, Adam Long, J.B. Holmes, Keith Mitchell, Paul Casey, Corey Conners.

FIELD FROM THE 2018 TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP: Billy Horschel, Patrick Cantlay, Kyle Stanley, Hideki Matsuyama, Gary Woodland, Patton Kizzire.

TOP 50 FROM FINAL WORLD RANKING IN 2018: Alex Noren, Tyrrell Hatton, Rafa Cabrera-Bello, Eddie Pepperell, Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Matt Fitzpatrick, Ian Poulter, Li Haotong, Thorbjorn Olesen, Matt Wallace, Lucas Bjerregaard, Emiliano Grillo, Branden Grace.

TOP 50 FROM WORLD RANKING ON MARCH 31: Justin Harding, Shane Lowry.

SPECIAL INVITATION: Shigo Imahira.

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