It was Woods' first Masters as a professional. He did it with his driver - he averaged 323 on his measured drives, 23 yards longer than anyone else; and he did it with his putter - Woods didn't as much as three-putt a green for four days. 'He's out there playing another golf course he's going to own for a long time,' said Jack Nicklaus.
He was 13-under on the par-5s and reached the par-5 15th with a driver and a wedge Thursday and Friday. He played just three bunker shots all week. And, he played 38 straight holes without a bogey.
Woods led by only three strokes at the halfway point, having shot a rather unsettling 40 to kick off the front side Thursday. But he played the last 63 holes in 22-under-par, finished the tournament with an astounding 18-under mark of 270.
John Huston had the lead after Thursday with a 67, but after that, Woods simply blew everyone's doors off. Huston disappeared Friday after three water balls on the 13th, and it became a question only of how low Woods could go. His longest club into a par-4 the entire week was a 7-iron. And it was a fairly difficult week with the second-place finisher, Tom Kite, only at 6-under.
At the halfway point, Colin Montgomerie was in second place, only three behind Tiger. 'I have a lot more experience in major championships that he has,' said Montgomerie. 'And hopefully, I can prove that.'
So in Round 3, Montgomerie and all his experience shot 74 and Woods shot 65. 'All I have to say is one brief comment,' said Monty afterwards. 'There is no chance. We're all human beings here. There's no chance humanly possible that Tiger is going to lose this tournament. No way.'
He didn't. There was just no way. Woods won the first of many major championships.