Adam Scott won the 2013 Masters Tournament over 2009 Masters champion Angel Cabrera in a sudden-death playoff today at Augusta National. Not only did Scott win his first-ever major title, he was also the first Australian to ever win the Masters, finally lifting the burden of high expectations heaped upon him as a young pro golfer.
Fellow Australian Jason Day finished third at 7-under par, after shooting a roller coaster 70. Tiger Woods posted a 70 and finished 5-under par, tied with Marc Leishman, another Aussie, who shot a final round 72. Thorbjom Olesen shot a 68 to come in at 4-under par, tied with third round co-leader Brandt Snedeker, who faded down the stretch with a 75.
Second-round leader Day started his final round birdie-eagle, and looked primed to become Australia’s first Master’s winner. Woods struggled to convert in the front nine, but slowly came back into contention in the back nine with birdies on holes 9, 10, 13, and 15. However, it wasn’t enough to catch the leaders, largely because of a painful two-stroke penalty he incurred for his improper drop on the 15th hole in Friday’s round.
It came down to a duel between Scott and Cabrera, as Scott shot a final round of 69 to finish 9-under par, tied with Cabrera, who shot a 70. The 18th hole in regulation provided the biggest drama and cheers from the gallery. Scott drained a 20-foot putt at the 18th hole to take a one-stroke lead into the clubhouse, with Cabrera witnessing the wild cheers while waiting to strike his approach shot.
Cabrera clutched in his second shot to within three feet of the hole, and sank the birdie putt to force a playoff.
Scott sank a 12-foot birdie putt to win the second hole of the sudden death playoff, played on the 10th hole. In doing so, he erased years of futility at Augusta by Australian golfers, including greats like Greg Norman. Scott also exorcised some demons of his own, after collapses at the 2011 Masters and the 2012 British Open.
But today, Adam Scott was able to finish strong with birdies when he needed them, and all of Australia celebrated.