AUGUSTA, April 16 -- Pointing his putter to the sky like a bloodied sword, Tiger Woods let out a massive roar at the end of the Masters.

The 18th hole of Augusta National Golf Club is a far cry from a Roman Colosseum. The patrons here only bay for good golf. But on Sunday afternoon, Woods was almost like a gladiator who just secured his freedom after an intense battle.

En route to winning his 15th major title, the 43-year-old defeated a field full of talented youngsters nearly half his age. More importantly, he slayed the self-doubts that had crept into his mind after a total of six surgeries on his back and knee.

The situation was so bad two years ago at the Masters past champions dinner, that he told players he'd never play golf again....