Adam Scott wins the Masters as Australia’s drought endsApril, 2013
The year's opening Major culminated in a thrilling finish in the Augusta gloom
It has taken Australia 79 years to claim the Masters and Adam Scott 48 attempts to win a Major. At Augusta National both these curious statistics were finally put to rest.
It took a closing round of 69, the highlight of which was a birdie three at the famous final hole, and two extra holes to see off the brave challenge of Angel Cabrera, the Argentinean seeking to win his third Major on the day his countryman, Roberto de Vicenzo, was celebrating his 90th birthday.
It seemed for all the world that Scott had won the event with his final-hole birdie only for Cabrera to match his three with an even better one of his own, firing his iron into three feet and briskly rolling in the putt as though it were less than half the distance away.
Back they went to the 18th tee and although Cabrera almost chipped in they halved in fours and went down the 10th.
Both found the fairway and both ripped mid-irons into the heart of the green, Cabrera went first and his attempt for a three hung over the lip. That left Scott with a 12-footer to win his first Major and put the disappointment of Royal Lytham last year behind them.
Then he led throughout only to be overtaken by Ernie Els. Here, he was playing catch-up throughout, briefly leading for the first time only on the 72nd green.
It took a closing round of 69 and two extra holes to see off the brave challenge of Angel Cabrera
Good as the play-off was, and played in a wonderful spirit between two Presidents Cup colleagues, this was not, it must be said, a vintage Masters. The final-day drizzle saw to that, along with a leaderboard that was certainly strong but lacking a certain something.
Perhaps one missing ingredient was the absence of a genuine European challenge. Thorbjorn Olesen did his best, and eventually finished in a tie for 7th. In so doing he confirmed what many who have followed his career to date already knew, namely that he is a player good enough to challenge in the Majors and he will surely become Denmark’s third Ryder Cup player after Thomas Bjorn and Soren Hansen. There were also top 10s for perennial Major bridesmaids Sergio Garcia and Lee Westwood and the former in particular will surely draw solace from that. But none of these three genuinely challenged.
Nor did Phil Mickelson, and nor did Rory McIlroy. Even Woods, though he dominated the event thanks to his controversial drop, was peripheral on the final day.
Huge credit must go to Bernhard Langer, who briefly threatened to win a third Green Jacket some 18 years since his last one. It is amazing that even over a course lengthened by hundreds of yards over the years that a modest hitter like the veteran German can still contend when his game is in top shape.