The 43-year-old's one-shot victory at Augusta National was one of the greatest comeback stories in sport.
Fellow golfers and former greats of the game were also quick to hail Woods' achievement in returning to the summit of the sport after multiple surgeries and a string of off-course problems since his 14th major win at the 2008 US Open.
Ending an 11-year major drought, the 43-year-old American -- who underwent spinal fusion in 2017 fearing chronic back pain would deny him life's simple joys much less golf wins -- seized his first major title since the 2008 US Open.
Italy's Molinari, the reigning British Open champion, stayed patient through five opening pars as birdies broke out everywhere on rain-softened Augusta.
The stage had already set for a shootout with five current or former major champions -- Francesco Molinari, Jason Day, Brooks Koepka, Adam Scott and Louis Oosthuizen -- sharing the halfway lead at seven-under par.
Francesco Molinari, Brooks Koepka, Jason Day, Adam Scott and Louis Oosthuizen shared the midway lead.
The leading trio were in the clubhouse on seven-under par 137, one stroke in front of Dustin Johnson and South Africa's Justin Harding.
Three-time Masters winner Mickelson kept pace with the 20-something leaders with five birdies in the last seven holes in his five-under 67.
The 43-year-old superstar hasn't added to his tally of 14 major titles since his 2008 US Open triumph.
The atmosphere might not rival the serene, almost spiritual ambience that McIlroy experienced during a non-tournament week at the fabled course, but it certainly harks back to a more dignified -- and less digitized -- age in sports and life.
At the request of the family, who wanted Irawan's body returned for Muslim rites, no autopsy was performed.
Rahm noted the difficulty of handicapping the first major championship of the year.
A PGA Tour statement said Irawan was found dead in his hotel room on the resort island of Hainan on Sunday morning.
The amateur tournament was the first women's trophy ever contested at Augusta National, which opened in 1933 but didn't admit its first female members until 2012.
The former tournament runner-up birdied the 18th hole to finish with a sizzling seven-under 65 and a three-shot lead in the second round of first major championship of the LPGA Tour season.