The 43-year-old had not won a major for 11 years after a series of personal problems and injury issues.
But he took the crown at the Augusta National and, here, Press Association Sport takes a look at five other sports stars who defied all expectations to return to the top:
Jockey Piggott announced his retirement in 1985 having ridden more than 4,000 winners. The 11-time champion jockey was jailed two years later for tax fraud, but returned to racing in breathtaking fashion in 1990 as he won the Breeders’ Cup Mile on Royal Academy aged 55. Piggott also rode Rodrigo de Triano to victory in the 2,000 Guineas in 1992.
Widely regarded as the NBA’s greatest of all time, Jordan hung up his sneakers in 1993 to give minor league baseball a try, but returned to the Chicago Bulls two years later to pick up where he left off. He led the Bulls to three straight titles between 1996 and 1998. Unfortunately his second comeback with the Washington Wizards in 2001 did not prove as successful. Jordan played his final NBA game on 16 April 2003.
Foreman became world heavyweight champion for the first time in 1973, stopping Joe Frazier in two rounds. After two successful title defences, Foreman lost to Muhammad Ali in the fight dubbed ‘The Rumble in the Jungle’ a year later and failed to regain his belt before announcing his retirement in 1977. Fast forward to 1994 and Foreman, who had been back in the ring since 1987, became the oldest heavyweight champion in history as he floored Michael Moorer in the 10th round aged 45.
A string of injuries forced Clijsters to retire from tennis in 2007. She had a baby a year later before announcing her comeback in 2009. She won her second US Open title in just her third tournament back, beating both Serena and Venus Williams along the way. She won it again in 2010, added the Australian Open title in 2011 and regained her world number one ranking later that year. Clijsters retired for a second time in 2012.
Austrian Formula One driver Lauda returned to racing just 42 days after suffering serious burns in a crash at the German Grand Prix in 1976. He claimed a second world title with Ferrari in 1977 before retiring from the sport in 1979. Lauda returned with McLaren three years later, won his third race back and seized his third world title in 1984.