Scott wins Masters to end Australian jinx

AUGUSTA. Adam Scott ended decades of Australian agony when he became the first player from his country to win the Masters with a high-quality playoff victory over Angel Cabrera at a rain-soaked Augusta National on Sunday.
Chinese teenager Tianlang Guan provided one of the main talking points at Augusta National. Net photo.
Chinese teenager Tianlang Guan provided one of the main talking points at Augusta National. Net photo.

Final-round leaderboard:
* -9: A Scott (Aus), A Cabrera (Arg)
* -7: J Day (Aus)
* -5: T Woods, M Leishman (Aus)
* -4: T Olesen (Den), B Snedeker
* Selected:
-3: S Garcia (Spa), L Westwood (Eng)
* +2: R McIlroy (NI), L Donald (Eng), J Rose (Eng)
* +4: P Lawrie (Sco)
* +5: D Lynn (Eng)
+9: S Lyle (Sco), P Mickelson
* +12: G Tianlang (Chn)

AUGUSTA. Adam Scott ended decades of Australian agony when he became the first player from his country to win the Masters with a high-quality playoff victory over Angel Cabrera at a rain-soaked Augusta National on Sunday.

Scott sealed the win with a 15-foot birdie putt on the second extra hole, the par-four 10th, before thrusting his arms skywards in triumph, moments after burly Argentine Cabrera had narrowly missed his attempt from 18 feet.

“It’s incredible to be in this position,” Scott said in the Butler Cabin before being helped into the revered green jacket by 2012 champion, Bubba Watson. “It’s an honour.

“I tried not to think about anything today along those lines,” Scott added, referring to the lengthy Australian title drought in the year’s opening major. “The thing I did well out there was to stay right where I was, stayed in that one shot.”

The duo finished the regulation 72 holes on nine-under-par 279, Scott sinking a 25-foot birdie putt at the last for a three-under 69 before Cabrera matched him after hitting a brilliant approach shot to just three feet on 18 for a 70. It was the fifth playoff at Augusta National in the last 11 years, and the second in a row with American Watson having edged out South African Louis Oosthuizen 12 months ago.

There had previously been eight runner-up finishes by Australians at the Masters, three of them achieved by Greg Norman.

Scott’s victory at Augusta National earned him redemption after he squandered a four-shot lead with four holes to play in last year’s British Open at Royal Lytham for South African veteran Ernie Els to land the title.

Australian Jason Day, who made an explosive birdie-eagle start before surging two ahead with three consecutive birdies from the 13th, fell back into third place at seven under after making two bogeys in the last three holes to close with a 70.

Four-times champion and pre-tournament favourite Tiger Woods signed off with a 70 to tie for fourth at five under with Australian Marc Leishman (72).

Woods’ bid for a 15th major title, and his first since 2008, effectively ended when he made bogeys at the fifth and seventh, though he rebounded with three birdies after the turn to claim his 11th top-five finish at the Masters.

“I had my opportunities to finish with some good numbers this week and I felt like I really played well,” said Woods. “I played this week the way I’ve been playing all year, and that’s a good sign.”

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