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.
Woods has now gone even better, winning his fifth green jacket amid emotional scenes on Sunday at Augusta, as well as earning praise from as far and wide as golf-mad US President Donald Trump, tennis great Serena Williams, and National Football League legend Tom Brady.
Tiger Woods completed an epic comeback from career-threatening injury and scandal by winning the 83rd Masters on Sunday, capturing his 15th major title to end an 11-year major drought.
In 2002 he emulated Nick Faldo and Jack Nicklaus in winning back-to-back Masters. It is also Tiger's 22nd appearance at the championship tournament.
Woods was helped into the green jacket by last year's victor Patrick Reed.
It had been 11 years since Tiger Woods had last won a major tournament.
"It's overwhelming just because I was very lucky just to be playing again", added in Butler Cabin.
In 2008, grimacing in pain with almost every step, he beat Rocco Mediate in a playoff to win the US Open and despite ever increasing injury troubles his 14th major title appeared to have him within comfortable reach of Nicklaus's record of 18. "To have the opportunity to come back like this, it's probably one of the biggest wins I've ever had for sure because of it". There was a lot of times when I really couldn't move, and so that in itself is hard. Just their infectiousness of happiness; I was going through a tough time physically. I was close previous year in the majors.
Tiger Woods says his Masters triumph is "right up there" with his greatest achievements, having faced "serious doubts" he would ever contend again.
"Sometimes it is your day, sometimes it isn't, but I'm really happy of the way I felt out there today", he said.
The 43-year-old Woods started Sunday's final round joint second with fellow American Tony Finau, while Molinari was the man to catch, starting the day at 13-under 203. His birdie putt on the 18th from just outside 10 feet never had a chance, and he had to settle for a 70. That has stood as Augusta's defining moment for years.
"I'm a little hoarse from yelling", a tearful Woods said before the green jacket presentation in the Butler Cabin.