Monday, February 19, 2018
Golf

Adam Scott wins Masters

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Adam Scott finished the job this time.

Scott holed a 20-footer for birdie at No. 18 that put him in a Masters playoff with Angel Cabrera then won his first major Sunday with a 12-footer for birdie on the second extra hole.

"To make a couple putts to win the Masters is just an amazing feeling," Scott said.

It was only last summer when Scott bogeyed each of his final four holes to lose the British Open by a shot to Ernie Els. "Next time — I'm sure there will be a next time — I can do a better job of it," he said that day.

The "next time," Scott was close to perfect. He had to be.

The Australian, playing one pairing ahead of Cabrera, made his first birdie to cap a 3-under 69 for a one-shot lead.

"C'mon, Aussie!" he screamed.

"It was a split second I thought I'd won," Scott said. "That was the putt we've seen so many guys make to win."

Cabrera answered with a 7-iron from 163 yards that plopped down 3 feet from the cup. That gave him an easy birdie and 2-under 70.

"I like the challenges," Cabrera said through an interpreter. "These tournaments are very, very important for me. So sometimes, they bring my best out of me."

After both finished at 9-under 279, Cabrera nearly won it on the first extra hole, No. 18. Chipping over Scott's ball, which also rolled off the front of the green, Cabrera flipped a shot that landed right where he wanted and looked like it was going in. He settled for par, as did Scott, and the two headed to No. 10.

There, Cabrera's 15-foot birdie putt grazed the right side of the cup.

"Golf gives and takes," Cabrera said. "Sometimes you make those putts. Sometimes you just miss them."

That opened the door for Scott and his long putter anchored against his chest.

Under darkening clouds — no sudden-death playoff at the Masters had ever gone more than two holes — Scott said he could barely read the putt. So he called over caddie Steve Williams. Williams was on the bag for 13 of Tiger Woods' majors and read the putt that helped Woods to the 1999 PGA Championship.

"I said, 'Do you think it's just more than a cup?' He said, 'It's at least two cups. It's going to break more than you think,' " Scott said. "He was my eyes on that putt."

Williams' eyes were true.

"The winning putt might be the highlight putt of my career," Williams said, "because he asked me to read it."

As Scott celebrated, Cabrera, his teammate from the Presidents Cup, walked up with his right hand outstretched. Despite the language barrier, no interpreter was needed.

"Angel is a great man," Scott said. "He's a gentleman."

The Masters had been the only major that never had a champion use a long putter. Scott's win means four of the past six major champions used a putter pressed against their belly or chest, a stroke that might be banned in 2016.

What mattered more to Scott was that the Masters had been the only major an Australian had never won. That included close calls by Greg Norman.

"I'm over the moon," Norman said. "Sitting there watching Adam, I had a tear in my eye. That's what it was all about. It was Adam doing it for himself, and for the country."

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