Masters 2013: Expert Reaction to End-of-Day 4 Leaderboard
The final round of the 2013 Masters brought twists and turns in every direction as contenders became more and more unpredictable, and it culminated in a thrilling playoff victory for Adam Scott.
Scott joined Angel Cabrera, Jason Day and Brandt Snedeker as major contenders heading into the final few holes. While Day and Snedeker squandered opportunities, Scott and Cabrera saved their best for last and battled in a playoff.
Cabrera won his first Masters in 2009 in a playoff, but he wouldn't have the same luck in 2013, as Scott matched every accurate shot and sank deep putt after deep putt to give Australia its first-ever green jacket.
Let's take a look at what the experts are saying about Sunday's biggest golfers.
For someone who literally gave away his first major championship at last year's Open Championship, Sunday undoubtedly took a massive weight off Scott's shoulders.
Analysts and experts talked all weekend about how Australia was in the running for its first Masters win, but much of that was attributed to Jason Day and Marc Leishman. But apparently, Scott wasn't thrown off by flying a little under the radar.
Much has been spoken of Scott's inability to close out victories, but Justin Ray of ESPN points out that Scott actually plays his best on Sunday at the Masters.
After coming so close to winning majors in the past, ESPN's Scott Van Pelt admitted Scott's first major championship was a long time coming.
Adam Scott: a combined -15 on Sunday at Masters last 4 years.— Justin Ray (@JRayESPNGolf) April 14, 2013
Popular ESPN pot-stirrer Skip Bayless saw caddie Steve Williams help Scott on his winning putt and hints it may have some connection to his former colleague.
Sensational moments.The respect of one champion for another.Adam Scott has been so close, so often. He's earned his title.— Scott Van Pelt (@notthefakeSVP) April 14, 2013
Even Scott's biggest enemies have to agree that he showcased his clutch gene and earned his country's first Masters championship with stellar play.
Argentina's own Angel Cabrera hasn't been a serious contender for anything notable since his 2009 Masters victory, but you couldn't tell by the way he played this weekend.
Cabrera showed that experience and familiarity often trumps pure talent and youth, as he came incredibly close to winning his second green jacket before seeing his final putt come up an inch shy of the hole.
However, the 43-year-old found water on the 13th hole as he was trying to pull away from the field, much to the surprise of ESPN's Rick Reilly.
Sure looked like Stevie Williams, who caddied for Tiger thru 14 major wins, talked Adam Scott into right read on winning putt.— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) April 14, 2013
Darren Rovell of ESPN discovered how huge of a financial impact Cabrera's two career major victories have had. Can you imagine that percentage if he won Sunday?
Whoa. Both Cabrera and Snedeker hit it in Rae's Creek on 13. They have course maps, right?— Rick Reilly (@ReillyRick) April 14, 2013
The 14-time major champion and three-time Masters winner entered Sunday in the hunt at four strokes back, but he squandered opportunities on the greens and finished tied for fourth.
It was yet another strong showing for Woods, who seemed more in control of his game than in previous major appearances. But at the end of the day, the drought continues, as he's still nearly five years removed from his last major victory.
Perhaps even more surprising than Tiger's five-year drought is the fact that he's never won a major after trailing 54 holes, according to ESPN Stats & Info. That's a pretty incredible statistic, considering he's won 14 of them.
Angel Cabrera has been playing pro golf for 24 years. 13% of his career prize money comes from his 2 major wins— darren rovell (@darrenrovell) April 14, 2013
Augusta's own sports columnist, Scott Michaux, found another interesting tidbit: Tiger hasn't notched a below-70 round in his last eight rounds at the Masters. He would've needed a 66 Sunday to make the playoff.
Tiger Woods: has never won major when trailing after 54 holes— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 14, 2013
But despite not being able to score below 70 in recent years, there have been six times since 2005 that Woods has finished in the top five, according to ESPN's Numbers Never Lie. So close, yet so far for Tiger.
Tiger Woods has posted 8 consecutive Masters rounds in the 70s.— Scott Michaux (@ScottMichaux) April 14, 2013
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