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Aussie, Aussie, Aussie!

Australian Adam Scott, foreground, raises his arms in triumph after sinking a birdie putt on the second playoff hole to win the 2013 Masters and give his country its first green jacket after years of futility by the nation’s stars, including four runner-up finishes. Reacting very differently after the putt in the background was Scott’s caddie Steve Williams, center, who celebrated wildly with his guy, while runner-up and 2009 Masters champ Angel Cabrera of Argentina, background, can only look on in disappointment.

Australian Adam Scott, foreground, raises his arms in triumph after sinking a birdie putt on the second playoff hole to win the 2013 Masters and give his country its first green jacket after years of futility by the nation’s stars, including four runner-up finishes. Reacting very differently after the putt in the background was Scott’s caddie Steve Williams, center, who celebrated wildly with his guy, while runner-up and 2009 Masters champ Angel Cabrera of Argentina, background, can only look on in disappointment.

AUGUSTA — Adam Scott was already waving the Australian flag and flashing a championship smile toward the camera.

Then Angel Cabrera hit the shot of a lifetime, almost taking the green jacket right off of Scott’s back.

Scott and Cabrera traded birdies on Sunday’s 18th hole at the final round of the Masters to force a sudden-death playoff, but Scott found some Masters magic of his own as the sun set at Augusta National, hitting a 15-foot putt on No. 10 on the second playoff hole to outlast Cabrera and give Australia it’s long-awaited first title at the Masters.

“It’s amazing that it’s my destiny to be the first Aussie to win, just incredible,” Scott said.

Cabrera, the Argentine looking for his second title at Augusta, hit a near-perfect approach shot on the 72nd hole to knot he and Scott at 9-under and force the 10th sudden-death playoff in Masters history.

Playing in light rain that had been falling for much of the afternoon, each player parred the first playoff hole at No. 10 and had 15-foot birdie putts on the second playoff hole.

Cabrera missed his birdie by less than an inch right of the hole.

With an entire nation holding its breath, Scott’s dropped into the bottom of the cup.

“Going down the 10th fairway was almost deafening, and the crowd wasn’t close,” Scott said. “It was a great feeling, and again, I felt like they were really, really pulling for me out there.”

The crowd got even louder as his Masters-winning putt ended decades of near-misses for Australia, which has produced some of golf’s greatest players but had never slipped on a green jacket. Aussies have finished second at Augusta eight different times, including three times by Greg Norman, who famously shot a 78 in the final round of the Masters in 1996 to lose by five strokes after entering the day leading by six.

Adam Scott was already waving the Australian flag and flashing a championship smile toward the camera.

Then Angel Cabrera hit the shot of a lifetime, almost taking the green jacket off Scott’s back.

Scott and Cabrera traded birdies on Sunday’s 18th hole at the final round of the Masters to force a sudden-death playoff, but Scott found some Masters magic of his own as the sun set at Augusta National, hitting a 15-foot putt on No.

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With four holes left, Australian Jason Day had a chance to take a huge lead, but he missed an eagle putt on 15, settled for birdie and then followed that up with back-to-back bogeys on Nos. 16 and 17. Then he missed a birdie chance on 18 that would’ve put him in a playoff for the green jacket.

10 in the second playoff hole to outlast Cabrera and give Australia it’s long-awaited first title at the Masters.

“It's amazing that it's my destiny to be the first Aussie to win, just incredible,” he said.

Cabrera, the Argentine looking for his second title at Augusta, hit a near-perfect approach shot on the 72nd hole to knot the duo at 9-under and force the 10th sudden death playoff in Masters history.

Playing in light rain that had been falling for much of the afternoon, each player pared the first playoff hole at No. 10 and had 15-foot birdie putts on the second playoff.

Cabrera missed his birdie by less than an inch right of the hole.

With an entire nation holding its breath, Scott’s dropped into the bottom of the cup.

“Going down the 10th fairway was almost deafening, and the crowd wasn't close,” Scott said. “It was a great feeling, and again, I felt like they were really, really pulling for me out there.”

The crowd got even louder as his Masters-winning putt ended decades of near-misses for Australia, which has produced some of golf’s greatest players but had never slipped on a green jacket. Aussies have finished second at Augusta eight different times, including three times by Greg Norman, who famously shot a 78 in the final round of the Masters in 1996 to lose by five strokes after entering the day leading by six.

Scott was 15-years-old during Norman’s collapse and thought of his childhood idol as he closed in on the title.

“He inspired a nation of golfers, anyone near to my age, older and younger,” Scott said about Norman. “You know, he was the best player in the world and he was an icon in Australia.”

On Sunday, Scott became a national hero.

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Argentina’s Angel Cabrera waves to the crowd after nailing an approach shot on No. 18 that put him two feet from the hole for a birdie putt. Cabrera made it, forcing a playoff with Adam Scott, but Cabrera lost on the second playoff hole.

“Golf is a big sport at home,” Scott said. “It may not be the biggest sport, but it's been a sport that's been followed with a long list of great players, and this was one thing in golf that we had not been able to achieve.”

Cabrera, who won the Masters in 2009 by beating Kenny Perry and Chad Campbell in a playoff, entered the day as the co-leader with American Brandt Snedeker and led by three shots at the turn. He shot a 2-under 70 Sunday, while Scott, who began the day in third place, fired a 3-under 69.

Cabrera embraced Scott after the final hole and briefly congratulated him on his first major championship.

“(I told him) that I was happy for him; that I know that he deserved it, and that he was going to eventually win it like he did right now,” Cabrera said. “It was just a matter of time.”

Cabrera fell off the top of the leaderboard midway through the back nine when Jason Day reached 9-under with three straight birdies, but Day bogeyed Nos. 16 and 17 and finished two shots behind Scott and Cabrera.

Tiger Woods dropped a shot on the front nine but went 3-under on the back nine to make a late charge at his first major championship in five years, but the four-time Masters champ pared his final three holes and finished in a tie for fourth with Marc Leishman.

“I thought 65 would win it outright (Sunday),” Woods said. “So who knows. If I would have shot my number, it might have been a different story.”

Thorbjorn Olesen and Snedeker finished tied for sixth and Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood and Georgia Tech grad Matt Kuchar finished tied for eighth.

The final round began with 13 players within five shots of the lead, but as the sun began to dip behind the pines at Augusta National, it became obvious it was a three-horse race between Scott, Cabrera and Day.

Day fell out of the picture with his two late bogeys, but Scott and Cabrera pared the 17th, setting up a 72nd hole for the ages.

Scott, a group ahead of Cabrera, lipped in a 25-foot putt to take a one-shot lead, pumping his fists and shouting “Come on, Aussie” to his caddy, New Zealand native Steve Williams.

“It was maybe a natural reaction. That's from back in my cricket days probably,” Scott said. “I don't know if Steve appreciated me yelling that straight toward him, but whatever. Maybe the one time he doesn't mind.”

All of Australia might have been chanting along with him.

“I'm a proud Australian, and I hope this sits really well back at home, even in New Zealand,” Scott said with a smile. “We had the kind of Trans Tasman combo out there with Steve on the bag.”

Scott was handed a small Australian flag by a fan as he walked off the 18th but quickly traded the flag for his clubs after Cabrera’s approach hit the green.

“The only one thing in my head was about winning,” Cabrera said. “I like the challenges, and so these tournaments are very, very important for me. So sometimes they take my best out of me.”

Cabrera nearly won the championship on the first playoff hole after his chip skidded just past the cup.

“His chip on the first playoff hole was just beautiful, and unlucky not to go in,” Scott said. “That must have gone right over the edge of the hole. My heart was about to stop as I was standing at the side of the green thinking, ‘Is this it, really?’ ”

It wasn’t --- not with destiny seemingly on Australia’s side.

Cabrera’s birdie putt on the second playoff rolled right to the lip of the cup but didn’t fall, while Scott got a perfect read from Williams, the long-time caddie for Woods, and dropped in the putt.

It’s a moment that Cabrera says will change the 32-year-old Australian’s life.

“It’s going to change quite a lot, (Scott’s) life,” Cabrera said. “He's been looking for it, searching for it, this major title. He's achieved it, so I'm pretty sure his life is going to change really fast right now.”

Scott walked off the 10th green and straight into the arms of his father, the only person who inspired him more than Norman.

“A hug with him behind the 10th green there when it was all over was something I'll never forget,” Scott said. “He said, ‘It doesn't get any better than this,’ which is true. It's a moment that I'll never forget.”

Comments

bubbasmithredneck 1 year, 8 months ago

Tiger did good to save 4th place despite a controversial 2 stroke penalty.....He is still the man!

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Somebody 1 year, 8 months ago

Bottom line is he didn't win. Tiger kicked his own butt.

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VSU 1 year, 8 months ago

Hey bubba missed you at the masters, I told you Tiger would not win the Masters, with that being said, I think he will win a major tournament before the year is out. I thought he was starting to get hot in the middle of the 2nd round but then cooled off at the end, and that two stroke penalty assessed to him didn't help any. I do agree with you that dispite all that he held in there to be near the top. A couple of putts he missed by an eyelash hurt him as well.

All in all it was a good tournament with Cabrera and Scott going into Double OT. I was pulling for Cabreara at the end. Just missed a good shot that had he made it would have put them through a triple OT.

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