There were raucous celebrations around the 18th green as Woods finished with a two-under-par 70 to win on 13 under, one clear of fellow Americans Dustin Johnson, Xander Schauffele and Brooks Koepka.
The 43-year-old, written off by so many so often as he battled back problems in recent years, punched the air in delight, a wide smile across his face, before celebrating with his children at the back of the green.
"I'm a little hoarse from yelling," said Woods. "I was just trying to plod my way around all day then all of a sudden I had the lead.
"Coming up 18 I was just trying to make a five. When I tapped in I don't know what I did, I know I screamed.
"To have my kids there, it's come full circle. My dad was here in 1997 and now I'm the dad with two kids there.
"It will be up there with one of the hardest I've had to win because of what has transpired in the last couple of years."
It is the first time Woods has come from behind in the final round to win a major and it his first Masters victory since 2005.
He is now just one behind Jack Nicklaus' record of six wins at Augusta National and three behind his fellow American's overall major tally of 18.
Overnight leader Francesco Molinari's hopes sunk with two double bogeys on the back nine and he had to settle for a share of fifth on 11 under.
"It's overwhelming just because I was very lucky just to be playing again.
"At the previous champions dinner I was really struggling and missed a couple of years playing in this great tournament and now be champion with 22 years between the wins.
"My mum was here and she was here in 97 as well."
Aside from lifting a rather lovely Masters Trophy- made of more than 900 separate pieces of silver - depicting the Augusta National clubhouse, and of course collecting an iconic Green Jacket, Woods will also pick up a hefty cheque of more than $2m.
The total purse is $11.5 million (£8.8m ish), and winner gets $2,070,000 which equates to about £1.58m.
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