Although it is the first major Woods has won starting a final round behind the lead, he showed his once-dominant self when he took the outright lead with a two-putt birdie on the par-5 15th and never looked back.
Tiger Woods is Masters champion for a fifth time, 14 years on from his last triumph at Augusta. This is the first time his children, daughter Sam, 11, and son Charlie, 10, were able to witness him achieving such a victory in person and in real-time.
As he struggled to comprehend the magnitude of his historic Masters triumph, and its likely impact on golf interest levels worldwide, Woods admitted his form in last year's majors followed by his first PGA Tour win for five years at the Tour Championship gave him renewed belief heading into this week.
After his win, Woods also embraced his mother, Kultida, and girlfriend, Eric Herman.
"I'm a little hoarse from yelling", a tearful Woods said before the green jacket presentation in the Butler Cabin. From the sex scandal that ended his marriage, to the four back operations that culminated in a spinal fusion two years ago, he has made headlines for all the wrong reasons. When I tapped in I don't know what I did, I know I screamed.
Stormy weather anticipated for Sunday
The children, ages 8 and 3, were dead at the scene, although both parents, who were in the front seat, escaped injury, he said. By late Saturday, the storms were expected to organize into a line as they cross the western border of Mississippi.
"To have my kids there, it's come full circle; my dad was here (when I won) in 1997 and now I'm the dad with two kids here".
Woods shot a final round of two under par 70 to finish at 13 under, one stroke clear of Dustin Johnson, Xander Schauffele and Brooks Koepka.
Paired together in the final round of last year's British Open, won by the Italian at Carnoustie, Molinari and Woods found themselves in the last group again battling for a major title. But on Sunday it was Molinari who slipped up, with the 36-year-old from Turin finding the water at the 12th and 15th. After a poor chip he two-putted for a double bogey-5 to fall into a tie for the lead.
In an exciting conclusion to what is considered Golf's top tournament, Woods trailed by two shots but produced the goods to win his fifth Green Jacket.