AUGUSTA, Ga. — Great Scott, an Australian finally has won the green jacket.
Aussie Adam Scott, thinking he had made a tournament-winning birdie putt on the 72nd hole of the first Major of the year, had to birdie the 74th hole to outlast Angel Cabrera in a two-hole playoff on a rainy Sunday in Georgia.
It marked the first time a PGA player from Australia won the coveted green jacket, the most recognizable prize in the game.
“We like to think we’re the best at everything,” Scott said. “Golf is a big sport at home, and this is the one thing in golf we hadn’t been able to achieve. It’s amazing that it’s my destiny to be the first Australian to win. It’s incredible.”
The Masters went to a sudden-death playoff for the second year in a row when Scott and Cabrera made matching birdies on the 72nd hole.
Moments after Scott made his 20-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole for a 3-under 69 to take a one-shot lead — “C’mon, Aussie!” he screamed — Cabrera answered with an approach that plopped down 3 feet from the cup, one of the greatest shots under the circumstances. That gave him an easy birdie and a 2-under 70. They finished at 9-under 279.
They both made par on the first extra hole, No. 18, before Scott, with his long putter anchored against his chest, rolled in a 12-footer on No. 10 for birdie to win it.
Scott’s win means four of the last six major champions used a putter pressed against their belly or chest, a stroke that might be banned in 2016.
Scott pumped his fists in the air, screaming toward the gray, darkening sky, and embraced caddie Steve Williams, who was on the bag for 13 of Tiger Woods’ 14 major titles.
“I found my way today,” he said.
What mattered more to Scott was that the Masters had been the only major an Australian had never won. He was among dozens of golfers who routinely rose in the early hours of Monday morning for the telecast, only to watch a horror show. The leading character was Greg Norman, who had four good chances to win, none better than when he blew a six-shot lead on the last day to Nick Faldo in 1996.
There was Jim Ferrier in 1952 and Bruce Crampton 20 years later. Scott and Jason Day tied for second just two years ago. Norman, though, was the face of Aussie failures at the Masters, and Scott paid him tribute in Butler Cabin before he slipped on that beautiful green jacket.
“Australian is a proud sporting nation, and this is one notch in the belt we never got,” Scott said. “It’s amazing that it came down to me today. But there’s one guy who inspired a nation of golfers, and that’s Greg Norman. He’s been incredible to me and all the great golfers. Part of this belongs to him.”
Scott, playing in the next-to-last group, made a 20-foot putt at 18 and celebrated with Williams as if it were over. Cabrera, in the final group, watched from the fairway knowing he had to hit a brilliant shot.
Cabrera’s ball pulled up 3 feet from the cup for an easy birdie that sent the two players to the playoff tied at 9-under 279.
“That’s how golf is,” said Cabrera, who was denied his third major title. “I had some issues during the course but I came back.”
Cabrera’s ball pulled up 3 feet from the cup for an easy birdie that sent the two players to the playoff tied at 9-under 279, giving the Argentinian a shot at his third major title.
For Scott, this is the first, making up for his major meltdown at last year’s Open Championship, where he bogeyed the last four holes to lose by a stroke to Ernie Els.
Not this time.
Another Australian, Day, had the lead until he bogeyed the 16th and 17th holes. He finished two strokes out of the playoff at 281.
Woods, the overwhelming favorite, came up short again. He hasn’t won the Masters since 2005, or any major championship since the 2008 U.S. Open.
Woods struggled with the putter on the front side, then missed a birdie try at No. 16 that could have put some pressure on the leaders.
“I had a hard time getting accustomed to the speed,” said Woods, who finished in a tie for fourth at 283. “Every putt I left short for probably the first eight holes.”
Leaderboard: Adam Scott 69-72-69-69—279 (-9) – Won playoff; Angel Cabrera 71-69-69-70—279 (-9); Jason Day 70-68-73-70—281 (-7)
— Adam Scott defeated Angel Cabrera with a birdie-3 on the second playoff hole (No. 10). Scott made a 12-foot birdie put on No. 10 after watching Angel Cabrera just miss his birdie putt.
— This is the second consecutive playoff at the Masters. Bubba Watson won on the second playoff hole (No. 10) last year. A Masters playoff has not gone past the second extra hole since going to sudden-death format in 1976.
— This was the 17th playoff in Masters history.
— The eventual Masters champion has come out of the final Sunday pairing 19 out of the last 23 years, with Zach Johnson (2007), Charl Schwartzel (2011), Bubba Watson (2012) and Adam Scott (2013) the exceptions.
— The third-round leader/co-leader has gone on to win the Masters Tournament 41 (out of 77) times, most recently Angel Cabrera in 2009.
— Dating to 1991, with the exception of Zach Johnson (T4) in 2007, Bubba Watson (T3) in 2012 and Adam Scott (3rd) in 2013, the Masters champion has been ranked no lower than T2 following 54 holes.
— The only Masters champion who was not inside the top 10 on the leaderboard after 54 holes was Art Wall Jr. in 1959 (T13).
— Scott notched the fourth-consecutive come-from-behind win at the Masters (Phil Mickelson/2010, Charl Schwartzel/2011, Bubba Watson/2012 and Adam Scott/2013). The last back-to-back-to-back-to-back come-from-behind wins at the Masters were by Ben Crenshaw/1984, Bernhard Langer/1985, Jack Nicklaus/1986 and Larry Mize/1987.
— Scott earns his ninth overall win and first major victory in his 202nd career start on the PGA Tour at the age of 32 years, 8 months and 28 days.
— Scott becomes the first Australian to win the Masters. A total of eight Australian’s have runner-up finishes at the Masters.
— International players have won the last three majors (2013 Masters/Adam Scott, 2012 PGA Championship/Rory McIlroy and 2012 British Open/Ernie Els). American’s have won 8 of the last 14 Masters dating to 2000.
— Scott has the fourth most wins by an Australian on TOUR: Greg Norman (20), Steve Elkington (10), Stuart Appleby (10) and Scott (9).
— Geoff Ogilvy, who did not qualify for the Masters this week, was the last Australian to win a major (2006 U.S. Open).
— Scott has made 10 cuts in 12 career starts at the Masters. He now has four top 10s, including three consecutive (2013/1st, 2012/T8, 2011/T2 and 2002/T9). Scott’s only two missed cuts at the Masters came in 2004 and 2009.
— Scott moves to No. 4 in the FedExCup standings with 870 points.
— Scott has made all five of his cuts on Tour this season to go with three top 10s.
— Scott has finished in the top 15 in each of his last six starts in majors.
— Scott has nine wins. Six of them came when holding the 54-hole lead and three were come-from-behind. He was one stroke behind Brandt Snedeker and Angel Cabrera entering the final round of the Masters.
— Active consecutive major appearances (including 2013 Masters): Sergio Garcia 55; Adam Scott 47; K.J. Choi 44
— Scott, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Matt Kuchar and Henrik Stenson are the only five players to win THE Players Championship and a World Golf Championships event in their careers.
— Scott is one of three Australians to win a World Golf Championships event (2011 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational) with Geoff Ogilvy (2006 and 2009 Accenture Match Play Championship) and Craig Parry (2002 Bridgestone Invitational).
— The last 18 major championships have been won by 17 different players. Rory McIlroy is the only player with two wins in majors in that span.
2013 Adam Scott Masters
2012 Rory McIlroy PGA
2012 Ernie Els British Open
2012 Webb Simpson U.S. Open
2012 Bubba Watson Masters
2011 Keegan Bradley PGA
2011 Darren Clarke British Open
2011 Rory McIlroy U.S. Open
2011 Charl Schwartzel Masters
2010 Martin Kaymer PGA
2010 Louis Oosthuizen British Open
2010 Graeme McDowell U.S. Open
2010 Phil Mickelson Masters
2009 Y.E. Yang PGA
2009 Stewart Cink British Open
2009 Lucas Glover U.S. Open
2009 Angel Cabrera Masters
2008 Padraig Harrington PGA
— Cabrera’s only two wins on the PGA TOUR in 188 career starts are the 2007 U.S. Open and 2009 Masters.
— In 2009, Angel Cabrera defeated Kenny Perry and Chad Campbell in a playoff to win the Masters.
— Argentina has accounted for three major championships, with Cabrera and his two joining Roberto De Vicenzo (1967 British Open). Cabrera is the first and only South American to win the Masters Tournament.
— Cabrera was No. 87 on the Presidents Cup International team standings coming into this week, No. 119 in the FedExCup standings entering the week and No. 269 in the Official World Golf Rankings entering the week.
— Cabrera held the third-round co-lead this week with Brandt Snedeker. His only other third-round lead/co-lead on TOUR came when he won the 2009 Masters. Cabrera was tied with Kenny Perry at 11-under after the third round of the 2009 Masters. Cabrera won in a playoff over Perry and Chad Champbell.
— Cabrera is the 15th player to win the Masters (2009) and U.S. Open (2007) in career.
— Cabrera was trying to become the first grandfather to win the Masters. His son Federico had a daughter named Agostina on November 1, 2012.
— Cabrera was trying to become the oldest (43 years, 7 months, 2 days) second-time winner in Masters history taking over the spot held by Ben Crenshaw who was 43-2-29 when he won his second Green Jacket in 1995.
— Cabrera was trying to become the second oldest (43 years, 7 months, 2 days) champion in tournament history behind Jack Nicklaus (46 years, 2 months, 23 days) in 1986.
— Cabrera’s best finish on Tour this season is T16 at the Shell Houston Open. This is his sixth made cut in eight starts this season.
— Cabrera’s son Angel Cabrera Jr. caddied for him this week. His son missed the cut earlier this year in the Puerto Rico Open in his first start on the PGA Tour.
— Day records his fourth top-10 finish this season, which equals his entire total from last season. Day has made all eight of his cuts this season.
— Day’s finished third at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship earlier this year. Matt Kuchar defeated Day in the Semifinal Match. Day defeated Ian Poulter in the Consolation Match.
— Day had never led after any round in a major prior to holding the 36-hole lead after round two this week. He was second after round two at the 2011 Masters (finished T2).
— Day missed the cut in his last start in a major (2012 PGA Championship). Last year, Day withdrew from the Masters after a first round 76 with an ankle injury.
— Day is the youngest winner on the Web.com Tour (2007 Legend Financial Group Classic at 19 years, 7 months, 26 days).
— Day is scheduled to play next week in the RBC Heritage on Hilton Head Island, SC.
— Snedeker has two top 10s in six starts at the Masters (T3/2008 and T6/2013).
— Snedeker has five top 10s in 22 major starts. He was T3 last year at the British Open.
— Snedeker’s only bogey-free round at the Masters came on Saturday in round three.
— Snedeker joins Bill Haas and Keegan Bradley with the most top 10s on Tour this season with five.
— In consecutive starts this season, Snedeker finished T2 at the Farmers Insurance Open behind Tiger Woods, second at the Waste Management Phoenix Open behind Phil Mickelson before winning the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
— Snedeker held a share of the third-round lead this week. His only other lead in a major was after round two at the British Open last year (T3).
— Prior to today, Snedeker had converted his last two 54-hole leads/co-leads (2012 TOUR Championship and 2013 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am) on the PGA Tour. He has now converted two of five in his career.
— Leishman records his first top 10 in his eighth start in a major championship. Previous best finish was T27 in the 2012 PGA Championship.
— Prior to holding a share of the first-round lead this week, Leishman had never held a lead/co-lead after any round on the PGA TOUR. He made his 114th start this week.
— Leishman missed the cut in his only other start in the Masters in 2010. He got into the 2010 Masters by finishing in the top 30 in the 2009 FedExCup standings (20th) as a rookie.
— Leishman was named PGA Tour Rookie of the Year in 2009, becoming the first Australian to earn the honor since the award’s inception in 1990.
— Olesen’s season earnings on the PGA Tour pushed him over the amount earned by No. 150 on last season’s money list ($474,295), making him eligible for Special Temporary Membership. Olesen will have 60 days to claim Special Temporary Membership which would make him eligible for unlimited sponsor exemptions the remainder of this season.
— Olesen, playing in his first Masters, recorded his second top 10 in a major in four career starts (T9/2012 British Open).
— Woods has never come-from-behind to win a major. Woods is winless in last 15 major starts.
— Woods retains his lead in the FedExCup standings.
— Woods at the Major Championships:
Career Professional Majors: 61
Cuts Made: 58 (2006 U.S. Open, 2009 British Open, 2011 PGA Championship)
Career Major Victories: 14 (1997, 2001, 2002, 2005 Masters; 2000, 2002, 2008 U.S. Open; 2000, 2005, 2006 British Open; 1999, 2000, 2006, 2007 PGA Championship)
Career Major Top-10s: 37 (13-Masters; 8-British Open; 8-PGA Championship; 8-U.S. Open)