C.T. Pan carded a four-under-par 67 for a one-stroke triumph at the RBC Heritage after world number one Dustin Johnson fell apart in South Carolina.

Johnson – who was runner-up behind Tiger Woods at the Masters – led by one shot heading into the final round in Hilton Head but the American star capitulated as he posted a six-over 77.

The 2016 U.S. Open champion lost his way on the back nine, making three consecutive bogeys followed by back-to-back double bogeys en route to a tie for 28th position at four under.

Johnson's woes and Pan's impressive final round saw the Taiwanese player – who had five birdies and survived a bogey on the par-five 15th hole – clinch his maiden PGA Tour title on Sunday.

The 27-year-old Pan – who turned professional in 2015 – finished 12 under on the Harbour Town Golf Links, holding a one-shot lead with golfers still on the course.

Pan headed to the driving range to stay loose in the event of a playoff. But he sealed his first victory — he had a pair of wins in 2015 on the PGA Tour Canada — moments later when Shane Lowry's 180-yard approach shot sailed wide right of the 18th green.

He won ahead of American Matt Kuchar (67), with Lowry (70), Scott Piercy (69) and Patrick Cantlay (69) a shot further back.

"It's something when I was younger I always dreamed of," Pan told CBS. "I watched Tiger [Woods] playing growing up. To have a W on the PGA Tour means the world to me. It's a dream come true."

J.T. Poston (66), Seamus Power (67) and Kevin Streelman (68) ended up tied for sixth at 9 under.

Former world number one Jordan Spieth ended the tournament tied for 54th following his final-round 75.

After shooting a 74 on Saturday, Spieth went four over on day four to drop 12 positions to two over as his woes continued.

World number one Dustin Johnson holds a one-stroke lead after hitting the front heading into the final round of the RBC Heritage.

American star Johnson carded a three-under-par 68 to leapfrog Shane Lowry following Saturday's third round in South Carolina.

Amid heavy winds, there were a few big rounds to be had on the course, but only a handful of them as Masters runner-up Johnson earned the lead.

Johnson had some trouble to close out his day, tallying bogeys at the 16th and 17th holes, but fortunately for the 2016 U.S. Open winner, he birdied the previous three to give him a little bit of a cushion going into the final holes on the course.

The 34-year-old – who sits 10 under through 54 holes – leads Ian Poulter (67), Rory Sabbatini (68) and Lowry (71).

Poulter started his day with trouble after a double-bogey at the first, but he followed that up by going six under through his last 17 holes to be level with Sabbatini and overnight leader Lowry.

Patrick Cantlay (66) is two shots back at eight under, while Matt Kuchar (68) is a stroke behind and Webb Simpson sits six under after shooting the best round on the day with a six-under 65.

Former world number one Jordan Spieth posted a three-over-par 74 to slide down into a tie for 42nd – eight shots off the pace.

 

Dustin Johnson continued his good start at the RBC Heritage as Shane Lowry retained his one-stroke lead when darkness suspended the second round.

Johnson, who already has two wins this year and is coming off a runner-up finish at the Masters, carded a four-under 67 in the second round.

The world number one is at seven under and tied for third with Emiliano Grillo (67), with the duo sitting two shots behind Lowry.

Lowry was three under through 16 holes – and nine under for the tournament – when play was suspended, with rain having led to a delay of almost four hours earlier in the day.

The Irishman is a shot clear of Trey Mullinax, who fired a three-under 68 in his second round in South Carolina.

Just a stroke behind Johnson and Grillo are Rory Sabbatini (69) and C.T. Pan, who produced the best round of the day with a six-under 65.

After an opening-round 71, Jordan Spieth was three under through 12 holes and in a tie for 29th when play was suspended.

Luke Donald, a five-time runner-up at the tournament, was at one under and even through 14 in his second round.

Defending champion Satoshi Kodaira and Xander Schauffele were also at one under, having fired a 68 and 70 respectively.

Shane Lowry carded a six-under 65 to grab the solo lead after the first round of the RBC Heritage, while Dustin Johnson made a solid start on Thursday.

Lowry produced a bogey-free opening round in South Carolina, holing six birdies to take a one-stroke lead.

Five players, including Ryan Moore and Ryan Palmer, are one shot back at five under, while another eight are two shots adrift.

Billy Horschel and Patrick Cantlay are part of that group.

Johnson sits in a tie for 15th after opening with a three-under 68 that included four birdies and a bogey.

Matt Kuchar, the 2014 champion, and 2013 runner-up Webb Simpson are at two under.

Fresh off his collapse at the Masters, Francesco Molinari started the tournament with a three-over 74.

The Italian endured a rollercoaster round that included a double bogey and four bogeys.

Defending champion Satoshi Kodaira fared only slightly better, opening with a two-over 73.

A five-time runner-up at the tournament, Luke Donald carded a one-under 70 in the first round.

Tiger Woods' rivals have "problems" after he proved his doubters wrong by winning the Masters to complete sport's "greatest comeback", according to his friend and NBA great Michael Jordan.

The legendary Woods ended an 11-year wait for his 15th major with an emotional triumph at Augusta last weekend, prevailing by one shot to win a fifth green jacket.

It completed a remarkable comeback from a series of debilitating back injuries, while Woods has also previously contended with knee and Achilles problems. 

Many pundits had questioned Woods' ability to even play competitively again let alone win prior to a successful return to the PGA Tour in 2018.

And Jordan – a winner of six NBA titles with the Chicago Bulls in a stellar career – thinks that Woods overcoming his major hurdle will lead to more successes and his rising confidence will put the rest of the Tour on notice.

"Dealing with his emotions, obviously he believed in himself, but until you put that into action, sometimes it's a struggle," he told The Athletic.

"I think he's gotten over the hump. I think he's going to win more. It's tough mentally. It's absolutely tough mentally. And then you think about the physical. I'm elated.

"They [Woods' tour opponents] got problems. His confidence is only going to build from here. The unknown is the biggest thing. You don't know what Tiger's capable of doing. 

"He's won a Tour event [at the Tour Championship last September], he's won the Masters, he's won a major.

"There were so many people that were doubting him. You can think about the physical. But he overcame a lot of mental things, too. Not just the physical aspects, but all the scandals, too. 

"I was watching TV and they were congratulating him, but the first thing they bring up is the negative aspect. 

"That's what he had to deal with. Granted, we all make mistakes. But for him to come back and be able to win again, it's far tougher than anything I think anybody's had to deal with."

Jordan concedes he did not believe Woods was capable of winning golf's biggest tournaments again and labelled his triumph as the greatest comeback in sport.

"I never thought he'd get back physically," he added. "He didn't think he'd get back physically. 

"But he did it. No one expected him to be back the way he is now. He's probably the only person who believed he could get back. 

"To me, that's a major accomplishment. To me, it's unbelievable. Mentally, you always think you can. But you can't answer to what your body has to deal with.

"I took two years off to play baseball, but nothing like that. I'm pretty sure he questioned himself, whether he could get it back, and he had to put a lot of work in. 

"But he took it head-on. He had to change his game; he had to change his perspective a little bit. To me, it was the greatest comeback I've ever seen."

Tiger Woods' triumph at Augusta had many suggesting he could, after all, overhaul Jack Nicklaus' tally of 18 major titles.

Woods' Masters win – the fifth time he has slipped on the green jacket – saw him move to within three of the man they call 'The Golden Bear'.

After a series of back injuries looked set to curtail Woods' career, the 43-year-old is being considered once more as a perennial contender for glory on golf's grandest stages - and the venues for the next two majors in 2019 should provide ample encouragement for further success.

Next month's US PGA Championship takes place at Bethpage, while the U.S. Open in June will be held at Pebble Beach.

Both are courses where Woods has previously prevailed in majors and the bookmakers already have him installed as the 9-1 favourite for each of this year's editions.

Below, we recall Woods' 2000 and 2002 U.S. Open victories as the game's most iconic figure prepares to return to the scenes of some fond major memories.

 

2000 U.S. Open - Pebble Beach

This record-breaking triumph was truly Tiger at his peak. As the rest of the field toiled in testing conditions, Woods was playing a different game entirely. His supreme confidence was highlighted by a stunning approach to the sixth during his second round, as he fired his ball out of deep rough over a tree to the edge of the green. By the end of the third round he was the only player under par, his 10-stroke lead a record after 54 holes at the U.S. Open. An astonishing bogey-free 67 on the Sunday saw him improve to 12 under, while Ernie Els and Miguel Angel Jimenez were his closest challengers on three over. The margin of 15 strokes remains the largest in major tournaments, with Woods going on to win that year's Open and US PGA Championship, before claiming the 2001 Masters to complete the 'Tiger Slam'.

 

2002 U.S. Open - Bethpage

Two years later, Woods regained his title and, having won at Augusta two months earlier, sparked talk of a calendar-year Grand Slam after becoming the first man since Nicklaus in 1972 to take home the first two majors of the season. As at Pebble Beach in 2000, Woods finished as the only player under par – three shots clear of Phil Mickelson, who ended the tournament even par. Leading by four overnight from Sergio Garcia, Woods three-putted the first two holes to allow the Spaniard and Mickelson to within two, but they would never get any closer. This triumph was compared by Sports Illustrated to an American football team running down the clock when in possession of the lead – a slow, steady grind rather than the scintillating canter to victory seen at Pebble Beach two years previously. Still, it proved Woods could win any number of ways and he will not matter how he gets over the line if major number 16 arrives at Bethpage next month.

Rafael Nadal admitted to feeling touched by seeing his "favourite sportsman" Tiger Woods return to glory on the grandest stage on Sunday.

Woods claimed a 15th major title with a sensational victory at the Masters, his one-shot success at Augusta affording him the opportunity to don the green jacket for a fifth time.

That triumph ended Woods' 11-year wait for a major championship – a hiatus that at one stage looked impossible for him to end due to a series of troublesome back injuries.

Nadal – himself a 17-time grand slam champion – knows a thing or two about returning from injury to prosper on the world stage, and the Spaniard paid tribute to Woods as he prepares to begin his campaign for a 12th Monte Carlo Masters crown.

"It is amazing. He is probably my favourite sportsman in the world since a long time ago," Nadal said.

"I know a little bit [about] how hard he has worked to be back. I was very emotional yesterday."

"The greatest comeback story in sports." That was how Stephen Curry described Tiger Woods' incredible triumph at the Masters on Sunday.

Woods' time as golf's premier star looked to be over as his form and fitness deserted him in recent years, with a back injury threatening to end his career.

However, after returning to contention last season, the 43-year-old claimed his 15th major title and fifth green jacket with a superb display at Augusta.

Before following Curry's lead and pronouncing this achievement the greatest ever, though, we highlight some other sporting comebacks to rival Tiger's…

 

PETRA KVITOVA

Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova was one of the best tennis players in the world when she was the victim of a knife attack in December 2016, suffering a career-threatening injury to her playing left hand.

She was incredibly back in action for the 2017 French Open and then made the quarter-finals of the US Open.

Kvitova was not done there either, reaching the 2019 Australian Open final and climbing to number three in the WTA rankings. She could yet follow Woods in securing an emotional major win.

ERIC ABIDAL

Few comebacks have been as spectacularly swift as that of Eric Abidal, who was diagnosed with a tumour in his liver in March 2011 and lifted the Champions League trophy two months later.

The Barcelona defender's problems were not entirely resolved, though, and he required a liver transplant the following year that led to a lengthier lay-off.

Yet Abidal still managed to return to win LaLiga in 2012-13 and continue his playing career until 2014. He has since become Barca's technical secretary.

 

NIKI LAUDA

Niki Lauda was the reigning Formula One champion and well on course for a second straight title in 1976 when he crashed at the Nurburgring Grand Prix, with his car engulfed in flames.

Part of Lauda's ear was burnt off and his vision was impaired, but he was back in action six weeks later for the Italian Grand Prix.

The title escaped the recovering Lauda by just a point in 1976, yet he was back on top the following year and claimed the drivers' championship again in 1984 to cap a remarkable career.

MUHAMMAD ALI

Muhammad Ali went three years without a professional fight in the middle of his career.

Ali was convicted of draft evasion, sentenced to five years in prison and fined $10,000 because of his stance on the Vietnam War. He remained free while he appealed, but his boxing licence was revoked.

The American returned to action in 1970 and, although he lost to Joe Frazier in a title fight the following year and sustained a broken jaw against Ken Norton in 1973, Ali was heavyweight champion again when he defeated George Foreman in 1974, aged 32.

 

MICHAEL JORDAN

Michael Jordan did comebacks like few others.

Jordan quit the Chicago Bulls in 1993 after three straight championships to try his hand at baseball, fulfilling his late father's dream that his son might make it in two sports.

That stint in the minor leagues did not quite work out, though, and Jordan was back in the NBA in 1996 and incredibly won three consecutive titles once more with the Bulls. A second return from retirement with the Washington Wizards did not quite go to plan.

Tiger Woods is ready to attack the upcoming majors after ending his 11-year drought at the Masters on Sunday.

The 43-year-old completed a phenomenal comeback by claiming a 15th major title at Augusta National in front of the eyes of the world, winning one of golf's showpiece events for the first time since the 2008 U.S. Open.

In the intervening period he battled a succession of injuries - a fourth back surgery in 2017 making him wonder if he would ever play again - and saw his reputation damaged by lurid revelations about his private life.

Woods had ended a five-year wait for a PGA Tour victory when he triumphed at the Tour Championship last September and spoke ahead of the Masters of how that experience would aid him.

Now, after delivering once again at the very top level, Woods is more certain than ever that he can kick on with Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 major wins well within sight.

"I can win majors now," he told reporters with a smile.

"The win at East Lake was a big confidence booster for me because I had come close last year a couple times, still had to get it across the finish line and didn't quite do it.

"I didn't do it at Tampa [Valspar Championship]. I didn't do it at the Open Championship. I was a little better at the PGA [US PGA Championship], but still I didn't win.

"East Lake was a big step for me, confirming that I could still win out here and against the best players. It's obviously the hottest 30 guys for the year.

"To be able to do that against Rory [McIlroy] and Rosey [Justin Rose] there gave me a lot of confidence going into this year, and I said, you know, just keep building on it and let's try to get the mind and body peaking towards Augusta.

"So my last three major championships have been pretty good, so that in itself gives me a lot of confidence going down the road."

But despite the spectacular return to form, Woods will not alter his playing schedule this year. He is keen not to overwork a body that has suffered with repeated injuries.

"I'm not going to play as much as I did last year," he said. "I played a little bit too much last year because I kept trying to qualify for World Golf Championships and events in the [FedEx Cup] Playoffs.

"The playing schedule doesn't change. I'm going to play a little bit less than I did last year. I'll just play in the tournaments and I'll be fully invested and committed to playing and trying to win."

A fifth Masters title, a 15th major crown and an improved world ranking of sixth for American star Tiger Woods.

Woods celebrated a memorable Masters victory at Augusta, where the former world number one triumphed by one stroke on Sunday.

The 43-year-old has been plagued by injuries and off-course issues, which saw him fall to 1,199th in the world.

However, Woods is now sixth – up from 12th – and enjoying his best ranking since 2014 thanks to his drought-ending success in Georgia.

Not since 2008 had Woods won a major but the golfing great snapped his 11-year wait after finishing ahead of Dustin Johnson, Xander Schauffele and Brooks Koepka at 13 under.

Johnson is the new number one, replacing Justin Rose – who missed the cut at the Masters – while Koepka, Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas round out the top five.

After Tiger Woods completed an extraordinary comeback by securing his 15th major title at the Masters, Omnisport's sports editor, Christopher Devine, assesses the unique impact of a true sporting great.

---

Between 2014 and 2017, when an injury-plagued Tiger Woods was barely able to compete at the highest level, let alone seriously contend for honours, there were plenty of compelling storylines in golf's major championships.

Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth each won two in succession to suggest a glorious new rivalry was in prospect, while the latter sensationally threw away the Masters in 2016 before producing a remarkable recovery to win the following year's Open. In addition, there were two truly memorable final-day duels, Henrik Stenson edging out Phil Mickelson to win the 2016 Open Championship and Sergio Garcia pipping Justin Rose at Augusta nine months later.

By the time Garcia finally earned major glory at the 74th attempt, it was becoming easy to view Woods' career as a top-level player in the past tense. 

Little more than a month later, the former world number one was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence in Florida, following an unexpected reaction to prescription medicine, and a humiliating mugshot of Woods made headlines around the world.

In light of that embarrassing episode and Woods' continued back problems, it was truly incredible to see a resurgent Tiger threaten to win two majors in 2018 before he then ended a five-year victory drought at the Tour Championship.

Yet it turned out the best was still to come. And there can be no doubt that the events of April 14 at Augusta comfortably trump all of the aforementioned major narratives. If golf was good in Woods' absence, it is a whole lot better now.

In winning the Masters for a fifth time, Woods not only added the most remarkable chapter to his stunning career, he once again proved he is the one athlete who moves the needle like no other.

While the likes of Roger Federer, Serena Williams, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Tom Brady, Virat Kohli and LeBron James are all rightly recognised as masters of their respective crafts, none of those superstars can match Woods when it comes to the impact they have on their sport.

When Woods is successful, interest in golf is taken to a whole new level, for one simple reason.

As Williams herself tweeted on Sunday, to watch his triumph on Sunday was to witness "greatness like no other".

It is essentially impossible to quantify whether Messi is better than Federer, or whether Serena is superior to LeBron, given they are competing in different fields.

Yet it is hard to envisage any active sportsperson commanding more attention than a successful Woods. More than a decade after his period of outrageous dominance in golf ended, he is once again sport's most captivating figure, one who has somehow regained a majestic aura after it appeared he was a busted flush.

As he secured victory on Sunday, it felt like the whole world was watching and you can bet the viewing figures for the final round will far exceed any comparable metrics in recent history.

Whether more majors come the 43-year-old's way or not, his latest success is sure to linger long in the memory.

Sure, there were exciting tournaments when Woods was absent, but isn't it just fantastic to have him back?

Tiger Woods said winning a drought-ending Masters title is something he will never forget.

American star Woods ended his 11-year wait for a major title by claiming a one-stroke victory at the Masters on Sunday.

Not since 2008 had Woods finished at the top of a major leaderboard but that changed at Augusta, where the 43-year-old carded a two-under-par to reign supreme.

Woods revelled in his 15th major crown via Twitter, writing: "I can't thank my family, friends and fans enough for their support.

"Having my family by my side today is something I will never forget. To not only be able to play again, but to be able to win again, is something I will forever be grateful for. This jacket sure is comfortable."

Woods' career has been side-tracked by injuries and off-the-course issues, but the veteran – who earned his fifth Masters jacket – completed a memorable comeback on Sunday.

"I had serious doubts after what transpired a couple years ago. I could barely walk. I couldn't sit, couldn't lay down. I really couldn't do much of anything," Woods afterwards in his news conference.

"Luckily, I had the procedure on my back, which gave me a chance at having a normal life. But then all of a sudden, I realised I could actually swing a golf club again.

"I felt if I could somehow piece this together that I still had the hands to do it. The body's not the same as it was a long time ago, but I still have good hands."

Woods embraced his family in an emotional moment after his long-awaited victory.

"This has meant so much to me and my family, this tournament, and to have everyone here, it's something I'll never, ever forget," Woods said. “I think the kids are starting to understand how much this game means to me, and some of the things I've done in the game. Prior to my comeback, they only knew that golf caused me a lot of pain.

"I've had the procedure where that's no longer the case and I can do this again. So, you know, we're creating new memories for them, and it's just very special."

The denouement of the 2019 Masters will not be forgotten in a hurry.

Yet amid all the understandable excitement that accompanied Tiger Woods' 15th major triumph, it is perhaps easy to lose track of how the final round unfolded.

Omnisport runs through the thrills and spills of a remarkable final 18 holes at Augusta National.

 

MOLINARI SCRAMBLES LIKE A CHAMPION

Woods began the final round, which started earlier than usual due to the threat of storms in the afternoon, sharing second place with Tony Finau on 11 under, two behind leader Francesco Molinari.

Molinari's advantage fluctuated over the first nine, briefly reaching three shots at one point, but it could have been wiped out altogether had the Italian not produced some sensational work around the greens, salvaging unlikely pars at the first, fifth and sixth.

He ultimately turned in a level-par 36, with Woods having closed to within one shot and Finau two behind alongside Brooks Koepka.

 

WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE

Molinari was two clear again when Woods bogeyed the 10th, but the drama was only just beginning.

After Koepka and Ian Poulter, playing in the penultimate group, each found water at the 12th, Molinari and Finau sensationally followed suit and each registered double bogeys.

Suddenly, Woods was tied for the lead with Molinari at 11 under, while Xander Schauffele had also reached the same number.

 

EVERYONE'S A (POTENTIAL) WINNER

This was the point when things started to get silly. For around half an hour, it felt like anyone could win.

Patrick Cantlay, who had been two over through 36 holes before shooting 64 on day three, eagled the 15th to claim sole possession of the lead on 12 under. Yet before long, he had registered back-to-back bogeys and was out of the running.

By the time Woods and Molinari came up the 15th, they were two of five men sharing first place, along with Koepka, Schauffele and Dustin Johnson.

 

THE TWO SHOTS THAT CLEARED IT ALL UP

Within a few minutes, the picture was so much clearer.

Molinari amazingly found water again with a pitch to the 15th green, another double-bogey effectively ending his hopes as Woods made birdie at the same hole to claim the outright lead.

Any doubts over Tiger's ability to close things out were removed with his next stroke, as a superb tee shot at 16 almost yielded a hole-in-one and enabled the crowd favourite to reach 14 under with another birdie.

He retained a two-shot cushion heading to the final tee and could afford the luxury of bogeying the 18th as a remarkable win was completed.

Page 1 of 50
© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.