Scott wins Masters with dramatic playoff birdie


Take that, major demons!

Adam Scott curled in a 20-foot birdie putt on the final hole in regulation, then buried a 12-footer on the second playoff hole that gave him a taut victory at the Masters, the first green jacket for Australia, and provided the sweetest redemption for his heartbreaking finish at last year’s British Open. 

“I don’t even know how that happens,” he said. “It fell my way today. I had some luck out there.”

Here is the skinny on the final round at Augusta National: 

The leaderboard: Adam Scott and Angel Cabrera (-9), Jason Day (-7), Tiger Woods and Marc Leishman at -5

What it means: It’s a momentous victory not only for Scott (69) but for all of his native Australia, which had never boasted a Masters champion until now. With the victory, Scott, 32, will ascend to No. 3 in the world ranking and validate all the hype that has surrounded the sweet swinger since he was a teen. It was his sixth consecutive top-15 finish in the majors. Surely, Scott’s victory will renew debate about the anchored stroke. Four of the last six major winners have anchored the club to a part of the body, and the governing bodies are due to rule on the stroke in coming weeks. 

Round of the day: Both Cabrera (70) and Scott (69) played the final four holes in regulation in 2 under par, sending a jolt of energy into a Masters Sunday that for hours failed to produce many roars. The playoff was a ball-striking exhibition as well, by both players.

Best of the rest: After opening with 78 and making the cut on the number, Thorbjorn Olesen became a late contender with a 68-68 weekend, vaulting to a T-6 finish in his Masters debut. Even with a last-hole bogey, it was enough to earn the Dane a return trip to next year’s Masters. 

Biggest disappointment: Tied for the 54-hole lead, Brandt Snedeker (75) made back-to-back bogeys on the front nine, trailed by two at the turn, and then dropped four shots coming home to end his bid for a green jacket. Jason Day had a one-shot lead as he stood on the 16th tee, but he airmailed the green and made bogey, then dropped another shot on 17 after a poorly struck approach shot found the greenside bunker. The late struggles were reminiscent of the way he closed his third round, with a bogey-bogey finish to drop out of a share of the lead. “Obviously the pressure got to me a little bit,” he said.

Shot of the day: Of course it’s Scott’s winning putt on the 10th hole – a slippery 12-footer that found the bottom of the cup. When the putt fell, he leaned back and raised both arms to the sky. A major champion at last.

Quote of the day: “Australia is a proud sporting nation, and this is one notch in the belt we never got. It’s amazing that it’s come down to me today.” – Scott