Last Updated: 13/02/12 1:28pm
Tiger Woods became the first man since Nick Faldo in 1990 to make a successful Masters defence as he serenely reeled off a three-shot win to capture the seventh major of his career.
Woods, just as he had done when winning his first two Masters, opened with a two-under par 70 - his steady, if unspectacular start, positioning him just three behind first round leader Davis Love III.
Violent thunderstorms halted play on day two and 38 players, including Woods, had to return to the course early on Saturday morning to complete their second rounds.
More rain meant a further 75-minute delay but despite terrible conditions underfoot the field were able to close the four-shot gap 2000 winner Vijay Singh had established almost 20 hours earlier.
It was South African pair Ernie Els and Retief Goosen who sprang from the pack with Goosen making three late birdies to finish one back and Els pouring in an eagle and three birdies to climb to within two of Singh.
Woods, meanwhile, kept in contention with routine birdies at 13 and 15 to reach halfway four shots in arrears.
While the cheers rang around Augusta for the leaders, the longest applause was saved for Arnold Palmer who signed off his illustrious Masters career (he won the Green Jacket in 1958-1960-1962-1964) with an 85.
Saturday is known as moving day and Woods did just that with a best-of-the-day third round 66. It was enough to vault him into a tie for the lead on 11-under 205 with Goosen (69) and give himself breathing space over a high-class chasing pack which included Singh - two shots back after a 72 - and Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia and Els in fourth (209).
Woods had won all of his six previous majors when leading or tied for the lead going into the final round and he cemented his reputation as one of the game's greatest ever closers with a flawless performance on Sunday.
While others stumbled, Woods carefully compiled a one-under 71 to come home three clear of Goosen and four in front of Mickelson in third. Halfway leader Singh slipped to seventh after a 76.
And so, still aged just 26, Woods joined Faldo (1989-1990) and Jack Nicklaus (1965-1966) as the only men to win back-to-back Masters and moved up to sixth place on the all-time list of Major winners.
It was pretty much a repeat performance from Woods in 2002. In 2001 he'd ranked first in Greens In Regulation and once more he topped that category to show that this was a Masters won from tee to green rather than by brilliance on the greens (Tiger was ranked 21st in Putts Per Round and 10th in Putting Average). Overall Woods played mistake-free golf. He had just seven bogeys on his card and no-one made fewer. There wasn't a double bogey in sight.
|4||José María Olazábal||281||-7|
|T9||Miguel Ángel Jiménez||280||-3|
|Par 3 Contest Winner||Score|
|U.S. Open||Tiger Woods|
|The Open||Ernie Els|