AUGUSTA: Tiger Woods achieved one of the greatest comebacks in sporting history when he won the United States Masters for the fifth time — 11 years after he last won one of the four classic golf tournaments.

A final round of two-under-par 70 earned the 43-year-old American a one-shot victory over Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Xander Schauffele. This was his first Masters win since 2005 and his 15th major title – which raised the prospect that Woods might yet match the Jack Nicklaus record of 18.

Tiger Woods . . . . back at the top of his game

Victory also marked the first time Woods had reached the winner’s circle at major without leading after 54 holes and broke Gary Player’s record (13 years) for the longest gap between Masters wins.

It also gave him 81 PGA Tour titles, one away from the career record held by Sam Snead.

Woods, who had triumphed over domestic turbulence and serious knee and back injuries, said:“I was just trying to plod my way along the golf course all day. When I tapped the last putt in, I don’t know what I did but I know I screamed.

“To have my kids there – it’s come full circle. My dad was here in 97 (when he won his first Masters) and now I’m the dad with two kids there.

“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.

“Luckily I had the procedure on my back, which gave me a chance at having a normal life. To have the opportunity to come back like this it is probably one of the biggest wins I’ve ever had for sure because of it.”

Nicklaus, tennis champion Serena Williams and Olympic swimming superstar Michael Phelps were among those who sent messages of congratulation.