Augusta (US), April 15 (IANS) With the weight of an entire country on his shoulders, Adam Scott sunk a 12-foot birdie putt on the second playoff hole at the US Masters to end an agonising 77-year wait to win Australia’s first green jacket.
Scott and Angel Cabrera finished the final round locked in a nine-under tie on a rainy Sunday. After a par in the first playoff round, Cabrera put his putt from about 10 feet just wide.
As Scott took his stance for the putt of his life, entire Australia held its breath and stood still. The country was sent into raptures seconds later, as Scott delivered a cry of “C’mon Aussie”. A new Australian sports hero was born!
Such was the elation back home that Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) interrupted a local radio interview with Prime Minister Julia Gillard to give listeners updates on the playoff and victory.
Gillard congratulated Scott for making Australia proud and twittered: “Huge congratulations to Adam Scott – the first Australian ever to win the #Masters #AussieGreenJacket JG.”
“It fell my way today,” Scott was quoted as saying in the Australian media.
“There was some luck there somewhere. I don’t know how to digest it at all at the moment but it was incredible.”
“It’s incredible to be in this position. I’m honoured. It’s amazing that it’s come down to me today (to be the first Australian winner).”
However, earlier in the day, it seemed if an Australian was to win the US Masters, it would be Jason Day, who had finished as co-runner up in 2011 with Scott.
Day, though, like many before him unravelled under the tremendous pressure and bogeyed the 16th and 17th hole, leaving Scott to carry the Australian colours.
It was only last summer when Scott threw away the British Open by making bogey on his last four holes to lose by one shot to Ernie Els. The Switzerland-resident handled that crushing defeat with dignity and pledged to finish stronger given another chance.
With the two biggest putts of his career, Scott holed a 20-footer for birdie on the 18th hole of regulation that put him into a playoff with Cabrera and then won the major with a 12-footer for birdie on the second extra hole.
Scott leaned back and thrust his arms in the air after the putt dropped on the 10th hole, ending more than a half-century of misery for Australian golfers at the Masters.
The 32-year-old was gracious in victory. He and Cabrera flashed a thumbs-up to each other after their shots into the 10th hole in the playoff and walked off the 10th green with their arms around each other when it was over.