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Woods Wins His Third Masters

April 14, 2002

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AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) _ Not the best players in the world, not a toughened up Augusta National could stop Tiger Woods’ march to Masters history.

Woods made short work of the tournament’s longest course ever Sunday, and had an even easier time against a collection of top-ranked players who scrambled for the sidelines as he became only the third player to win back-to-back Masters.

An early burst of birdies gave him control, and Woods never let anyone closer than two strokes the rest of the way. He closed with a 2-under 70 to claim a three-stroke victory over U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen.

Despite all the changes to the course, the scene was all too familiar.

Woods walking up the 18th fairway in a victory parade, tugging on the brim of his cap to acknowledge the applause. Give him the lead at Augusta _ or just about any major _ and just wait for everyone else to back down.

Woods looked to the sky and smiled when his 18-foot birdie putt just missed, but he tapped in for par and walked over to hug his parents.

He finished at 276 and won a green jacket for the third time in five years. He became the first player to repeat as Masters champion since Nick Faldo in 1990. Jack Nicklaus was the only other, in 1965-66, and Woods’ victory put him halfway to Nicklaus’ mark of six Masters.

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