Adam Scott was one of the players at the top of the list that no professional golfer wants to be a member of: the best player to have not won a major.
That dubious honor no longer applies to the 32-year-old from Australia. His win also excited an entire nation, as an Australian golfer had never won the Masters prior to Scott’s win.
Greg Norman had many disappointments at Augusta National in his career, and countless other great Australians had never been able to get the job done.
Scott has had moments in his career when golf fans questioned his focus and ability to close out golf tournaments. Most recently he took a substantial lead into the final round of the 2012 Open Championship at Royal Lytham. Coming down the stretch, he bogeyed the final four holes and lost the Claret Jug to Ernie Els.
Scott has nine wins on the PGA Tour, nine wins in Europe and has won big events in the past. He won the 2004 Players Championship and the 2011 WGC-Bridgestone by four strokes over Luke Donald at Firestone Country Club.
No one will be able to question his heart and competitive drive after his performance at Augusta National on Sunday afternoon.
Scott won with one of the most dramatic finishes in Masters’ history. He made two clutch birdies to close out Angel Cabrera and win the green jacket.
After an even-par front nine, he birdied both par fives on the back side and headed to the last tee tied with Cabrera for the lead.
His drive finished just short of the deep fairway bunker, and he put his second shot 20 feet right of the pin. Scott, like all of the golfers in the field, struggled with the speed of the greens on Sunday. Player after player left putts short and overplayed the break due to the moisture from a steady rain all day in the last round.
He had missed several putts throughout his round that would have given him a commanding lead.
With Cabrera watching from the fairway, Scott rolled a perfect putt and made a birdie to jump one shot ahead of Cabrera. The joy and relief exhibited by Scott when his putt found the bottom of the cup was truly a celebration for the ages and was witnessed by the millions watching the final round.
Cabrera accepted the challenge and struck a perfect short iron to within five feet and made his birdie to force the playoff with Scott.
Both players made par on the first playoff hole, and even after his emotional release on the last hole, Scott drove it perfectly on No. 18.
The playoff then moved to No. 10, the same hole where Bubba Watson struck his historic shot and beat Louis Oosthuizen last year.
Scott and Cabrera found the green in regulation at the second playoff hole. Cabrera was away and just missed his birdie effort. The stage was set for Adam Scott.
He read one-cup of break in the putt, but his caddy Steve Williams, convinced him to add more break. As darkness fell on Augusta National, his ten-footer found the left edge and fell to the bottom of the cup.
All of Australia celebrated the win, and a huge pressure has been lifted from Scott’s shoulders.
He mentioned in his post-round remarks that every golfer learns much more from his defeats than his wins.
Scott proved that he is an honor student, because he definitely applied his education to win his first major title and a new green jacket for his wardrobe.