How Tiger Woods Announced His Grand Arrival With The Most Dominant Win The Masters Have Ever Seen

Tiger Woods celebrates winning The Masters in 1997

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There’s no telling when Tiger Woods will decide to retire from the sport of golf, but he’ll go down in history as one of the most legendary competitors (if not the most legendary) to ever pick up a set of clubs.

The fact that I don’t even have to discuss what the man born “Eldrick Woods” has achieved over the course of his hallowed career to drive that point home is a testament to the indelible impact he’s had on the sport he’s devoted his life to.

Tiger had already managed to make a name for himself when he showed off his skills on The Mike Douglas Show at the age of two, and he never strayed far from the media spotlight over the course of his childhood.

The nature of golf means Tiger wasn’t surrounded by the kind of hype that swirled around LeBron James and other highly-touted prospects who’ve managed to attract levels of attention (and scrutiny) the average person will never be able to fathom before they were old enough to drive a car.

With that said, Woods still garnered a ton of hype as a teenager.

In 1991, Tiger won his first U.S. Junior Amateur championship at the age of 15 (the youngest person to ever win at the time). He would go on to defend the title two times before taking his talents to Stanford and joining the school’s golf team shortly after winning the first of his three consecutive U.S. Amateur titles.

Woods was only 19 years old when he took part in his first major after he was invited to compete as an amateur at The Masters in 1995 (he was the only person in that category to make the cut and finished in a tie for 41st).

Tiger shed that label the following year when he opted to leave Stanford and join the PGA Tour. He won his first event after coming out on top at the 1996 Las Vegas Invitational, which also ensured the man who’d earn Rookie of the Year honors would earn an invite to Augusta National Golf Club to compete in The Masters in 1997.

It’s safe to say he took full advantage of that opportunity.

How Tiger Woods put the golf world on notice with his transcendent win at The Masters in 1997

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Tiger had gotten a second chance to take on Augusta in 1996 when he returned for his second outing as an amateur, but he was unable to replicate the relative success of his debut and headed home early after missing the cut by posting a +6 over the course of the first two rounds.

Woods already had three PGA Tour victories under his belt by the time he arrived in Georgia, but it looked like he was in danger of sitting out the weekend yet again when you consider he wrapped up the first nine holes of his round on Thursday four over par.

However, he was able to rally by shooting six-under on the back nine and headed into Friday in fourth place (three strokes behind leader John Huston).

If he felt any pressure in his second round, he certainly didn’t show it. His bogey on the third hole was the only time he went over par that day, and he went into the weekend at the top of the leaderboard with the help of an eagle and the five birdies that contributed to his six-under 66.

Tiger managed to outdo himself on Saturday thanks to a bogey-free round where he racked up seven birdies, and he had one of the most comfortable leads imaginable thanks to the nine-stroke margin he held over Costantino Rocca with 18 holes to go in the tournament.

While the outcome seemed like a foregone conclusion, there was no telling what would unfold when you consider Greg Norman seemed to have the tournament in hand before he choked away the green jacket Nick Faldo had ultimately earned the right to don the previous year.

However, Tiger Woods was not Greg Norman.

The 20-year-old did hit a couple of road bumps in the form of the two bogeys he recorded on the front nine, but he canceled those out with the three birdies he’d go on to notch on 11, 13, and 14 while coasting to a 12-stroke win over runner-up Tom Kite (which remains the biggest margin of victory at The Masters and the only time it has been in the double digits).

That stunning triumph marked Tiger’s ascension to the throne and the first of the five green jackets he’s secured at Augusta over the years.

At this point, it seems like he has a fairly slim chance of adding a sixth to his collection, but if he’s taught us anything by now, it’s that you should never count out Tiger Woods when it comes to The Masters.

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Connor Toole avatar and headshot for BroBible
Connor Toole is the Deputy Editor at BroBible. He is a New England native who went to Boston College and currently resides in Brooklyn, NY. Frequently described as "freakishly tall," he once used his 6'10" frame to sneak in the NBA Draft and convince people he was a member of the Utah Jazz.