Golfer Adam Scott has become the first Australian to win the US Masters. He was crowned champion after beating Argentina's Angel Cabrera on the second hole of a playoff at the rainy Augusta National.
It was the second straight year the Masters went into sudden death Sunday after Scott and Cabrera each made dramatic birdies on the 72nd hole. The two then made par on the first extra hole before returning to the 10th hole where Scott sunk a 12-foot putt to win his first major title.
It was redemption for Scott, who just nine months earlier had made four bogeys on the last four holes to give up the British Open lead at the Royal Latham. Two years earlier, he had finished tied for second at the Masters.
"I don't know how that happened," Scott said. "It seems a long, long way from a couple years ago, or last July when I was trying to win a major. It was incredible."
The 32-year-old Scott had thought for a moment that the tournament was over after he made a 20-foot putt on the 18. But Cabrera hit an impressive shot from the fairway to put himself on the green three feet from the hole for an easy birdie. That sent the two players to the playoff tied at 9-under 279.
"There was a split second I thought I had won," Scott said. "You never count your chickens. It was time to step up and see how much I wanted it."
Cabrera, a 2007 US Open and 2009 Masters Champion, would have been the second-oldest Masters champion at 43.
"That is how golf is," said Cabrera. "I came back. I had my chance to win it. Adam is a truly good winner. He's a great person and a great player and I'm happy for him."
Fellow Australian Jason Day had held the lead until he bogeyed on the 16th and 17th holes to finish two strokes out of the playoff at 280.
American Tiger Woods was the favorite heading into the tournament. But he struggled, missing a birdie try at No. 16 that could have put pressure on the leaders, and finished tied for fourth with Australia's Marc Leishman at 283.
"I had a hard time getting accustomed to the speed," said Woods, who hasn't won the Masters since 2005, or any major tournament since the 2008 US Open. "Every putt I left short for probably the first eight holes."
Guan Tianlang, the 14-year-old Chinese schoolboy who is the Masters' youngest ever competitor, fired 75 to finish 12-over 300. He will receive the low amateur's Silver Cup.
dr/av (AP, AFP)