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Adam Scott wins Masters Tournament

Marques Eversoll, Assistant Sports Editor/Commentary
April 17, 2013
Filed under Sports

With the weight of a continent resting on his shoulders, Adam Scott became the first Australian to win a major championship with the 77th edition of the Masters Tournament.

Scott won his first career major at Augusta National with 19 former Masters winners in the field. After playing the final round under wet conditions, Scott and Angel Cabrera were tied atop the leaderboard at nine-under par.

In the second-to-last pairing of the final round, Scott sunk a 25-foot putt and headed into the clubhouse with a one-stroke lead over Cabrera. An enthusiastic Scott pumped his fist, as he could taste the tournament championship.

But Cabrera, part of the final pairing along with Brandt Snedeker, still had a chance. Needing a birdie on the 72nd hole to force a playoff, Cabrera hit a brilliant second shot to within three feet and birdied the hole.

As a result, Cabrera and Scott faced off in the 16th playoff in tournament history.

Scott defeated Cabrera on the second hole of the sudden-death playoff after recording a birdie on No. 10, a 495-yard par 4 — the same hole in which Bubba Watson won the tournament a year ago.

“I found my way today,” Scott said before being awarded the green jacket. “There was some luck out there. It’s incredible to be in this position. I am honored.”

While the Masters victory was Scott’s first, it was the fourth for his caddie, Steve Williams. After caddying for 13 major championships with Tiger Woods, Williams earned No. 14 carrying the bag for Scott.

And on the putt that earned him the championship, Scott relied on Williams to read the green under gloomy conditions.

“It was really dark,” Scott said. “He’s seen a lot of putts here. He made an unbelievable read.”

Prior to teeing off for his third round of the weekend, a cloud of controversy hovered over the head of Woods, the No. 1 player in the world, according to World Golf Ranking. In the second round, Woods hit the ball into the water hazard after his shot ricocheted off the flagstick. Woods took a drop and bogeyed the hole.

At the time, the drop was ruled legal. But after further review, the Augusta National Golf Club’s competition committee determined that the drop was illegal.

“I made a mistake,” Woods said. “Under the rules of golf, I made an improper drop.”

Instead of disqualifying Woods from the tournament, the committee opted to allow him to continue through the weekend, considering it permitted him to finish his second round after the drop controversy had occurred.  Woods went on to finish Saturday’s round at 3-under par, four strokes off the lead.

He finished in a tie for fourth place in the tournament at five-under par, four shots behind Scott. Woods last won the Masters in 2005, and his last major championship came in 2008 when he won the 108th U.S. Open on Torrey Pines.

When Woods became the youngest player to win the Masters in 1997 at the age of 21, Guan Tianlang hadn’t even been born yet. But the 14-year-old kid from China shared a practice round with Woods prior to the tournament.

Despite being the first player penalized for slow play at a major since Gregory Bourdy at the 2010 PGA Championship, Guan became the youngest player to make the cut at a major. He finished the tournament in 58th place at 12-over par.

Guan may one day rise to the  top the world of professional golf, but the story of the 2013 Masters belongs to Adam Scott, who has had his fair share of close calls in the past. In the 2012 Open Championship, Scott collapsed on the back nine and gave away the Open Championship by recording four straight bogeys.

The weather April 14 afternoon was among the most ugly in years at Augusta, but for Scott, it produced the most beautiful moment of his career.