Adam Scott wins the Masters
Adam Scott holed a 10-footer on the second playoff hole to win the 77th Masters, defeating Angel Cabrera. It’s the first major victory for Scott, and he becomes the first Australian to win the Masters after years of heartbreaking defeats.
Scott, Cabrera, Jason Day and Brandt Snedeker all had the lead at various points in Sunday’s final round, with Day holding it as late as the 16th hole. A pair of bogeys on the 16th and 17th holes opened the door for Scott and Cabrera. After Scott made a birdie putt on the 18th to get to 9-under par, Cabrera needed a birdie to match and force a playoff. Cabrera stepped up and hit a fantastic iron into the green, and nailed the putt.
Both players headed to the 18th tee, hit perfect tee shots and followed them up with identical irons just short of the green. Both holed their par putts and went to the 10th tee. Two more perfect drives in the fairway were followed by impeccable shots into the green. Cabrera missed with his putt just barely staying above the hole, while Scott drained his to win the green jacket.
It was one of the best exhibitions of talent and skill in recent memory at the Masters, with quality golf played in difficult, rainy conditions through most of Sunday’s final round. In terms of excitement, I can’t remember a tournament that was more enjoyable.
What the win means for Scott
First off, it gets him a lifetime exemption to the Masters, but this means so much more to him and an entire nation. After watching Greg Norman be the world’s best player for so long and never win a Masters despite being so close, this is a measure of redemption for a nation that loves golf the way that Australia does. For Scott, after he gave away the final round lead at last year’s Open Championship, he has finally broken through to win his first major championship. There have been many people over the years who have said that he wasn’t committed and dedicated enough to the game, but this win should put all of that talk to bed. Winning a major is a huge deal, but winning the Masters means even more. Augusta National rarely crowns a poor champion, and Scott is definitely deserving of the honour.
- 1. Adam Scott -9 *wins in playoff*
- 2. Angel Cabrera -9
- 3. Jason Day -7
- T4. Tiger Woods -5
- T4. Marc Leishman -5
Obviously, the story of the non-DQ of Tiger Woods is going to be a big talking point going forward. As I mentioned yesterday, I think Augusta National made the right call, and I think Woods made the right decision to keep playing. As it relates to his play, the putter that has been so hot in his three wins this season just seemed to leave him this week. That tends to happen at Augusta National, and it has been his Achilles heel at the Masters in his recent winless years. I still think he wins a major this year, but this was likely his best chance knowing his track record at Augusta National.
Tianlang Guan’s slow play and performance
I didn’t write anything about this earlier in the week, but the penalty for slow play given to Tianlang Guan seemed a little odd to me. I have no doubt that Guan and his group of Ben Crenshaw and Matteo Manassero were probably a little on the slow side, but I find it hard to believe that they were any slower than the other groups that I watched through the first two days of the coverage. In Friday’s second round, the group of Tiger Woods, Luke Donald and Scott Piercy had to wait for thirty minutes on the fourth tee, and none of the groups in front of them were penalized for slow play, so I’m not sure what exactly happened there. Guan finished as the low amateur at 12-over par, and his performance was really quite incredible. At 14 years old, he shouldn’t be this good at golf. He shouldn’t be that poised, and you definitely would have understood if he wasn’t able to handle the slow play situation, but he took it all in stride. Golf is littered with young teenage phenoms, and who knows, we may never hear from him again, but he’s left a pretty big mark on this tournament.
Random Player Thoughts
- Rory McIlroy: One bad stretch killed him. The back-nine 42 on Saturday basically put him out of contention, but everything else was pretty solid.
- Couples and Langer: The one thing that is always said about Augusta National is that it takes a few plays to really figure out all of the little idiosyncrasies that the course throws at you, and two former champions proved that point for most of the tournament this week. Fred Couples and Bernhard Langer were in contention for most of the way, and really, at 53 and 55 years of age, there’s almost no reason for them to be able to compete. They can because of what they know about the course.
- Angel Cabrera: “The Duck” is an amazing player that I just wish would show up a little more often to regular events. He has so much talent, but for some reason, it just doesn’t come through all the time. Still though, there are worse things to have on a resume than “a great major performer.”
- Jason Day: He’s going to get a major championship. He said after his round that he thought it was obvious that the pressure got to him, and it definitely showed once he got the lead. He’s going to be just fine.
- Sergio Garcia: Garcia got a bit of a bad break on Friday, having to deal with the bad weather draw after firing a first round 66, but he bounced back and ended up with a top-10 finish. He’s never hidden the fact that Augusta isn’t his favourite course, so this being his first T-10 here since 2004 could be taken as a good sign for his chances later this year.
- Notables missing the cut: George Coetzee, Matteo Manassero, Webb Simpson, Graeme McDowell, Louis Oosthuizen, Nicolas Colsaerts, Padraig Harrington, Francesco Molinari and Hunter Mahan.
- Nothing was more surprising to me this week than Guan making the cut, but a close second would have been the performances of Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley, who both wound up tied for 54th at 9-over par.
- Tough week for 2003 Masters champion Mike Weir, who after opening with an even-par round of 72, ended up missing the cut with a second round 79. Weir’s been dealing with the same kind of rib injury that Snedeker was faced with a few weeks ago, and if it were any other event, Weir wouldn’t have been playing this week.