It was a Sunday like no other in this tradition like no other.
But as he had done on previous Sunday afternoons at the Augusta National Golf Club, Tiger Woods was alone at the top of the Masters rankings.
Woods, 43, has shot a par 70 under 2 to win his first green jacket since 2005 and his first major since the 2008 US Open. He defeated Dustin Johnson, Xander Schauffle and Brooks Koepeka. One shot, but it does not begin to tell the story of a dramatic Sunday that ended about four and a half hours early after Sunday's start times were postponed due to the threat of severe weather.
"It's OK," said Woods, after 2018 champion Patrick Reed slipped the winner's traditional clothing into Butler Cabin. It was a much quieter setting than the 18th green just minutes before, while Woods clinched the title with a short bogey putt.
"WOOOOOOO !!!" Woods then shouted that he was heading towards the game room with the slogans of "Tiger! Tiger! Tiger" resonating as loudly as all the roars on the back nine of Augusta National. He picked up 10-year-old Charlie, born a year after this spectacular victory on Father's Day weekend at Torrey Pines. He hugged his mother, then his daughter Sam, aged 11, and all the other members of his camp who assisted him through a public divorce, an embarrassing arrest for impaired driving. , caused by a mixture of painkillers and surgeries.
"To have my kids there, the circle is over," Woods told CBS during the ensuing interview. "You know, my dad was here in 1997 and now I'm the father with two kids there."
Woods started the day tied for second place with Tony Finau, two shots from Francesco Molinari, the reigning British Open champion, with such constant nerves that by entering Sunday, the Italian had not filled a hole since the eleventh match of Thursday.
But Molinari's nerves and shooter skills failed him last Sunday. Holding a two-stroke lead on the 12th start, Molinari looked helplessly at his tee shot over the green and into Rae's Creek. A double bogey was not enough to keep Molinari out of the fight, but the varnish of invincibility cracked.
If what happened at 12pm was a tragedy, what happened at Molinari at 3pm was a joke. While playing cautiously to avoid the water on the par-5, Molinari found himself with what should have been a mere third shot on the green. But he hit his corner kick, blowing it up in the air, from a nearby tree and into the water. He bugged the hole to drop one part of it in advance.
On the same hole, Woods made a classic birdie-4 to take the lead for the first time. He ensured his advantage at the normal 3 by 3 by placing an iron within 2 feet of the cut for another birdie and a two-shot lead.
This little bird, as well as a failed Koepka bird on the 18th, gave Tiger the cushion he needed to finish with a bogey-5 and secure his fifth green jacket and his 15th major, behind the big Jack Nicklaus in both categories.
Associated Press contributed to this report.