Masters blog: Scott wins title in playoff
Adam Scott outlasted Angel Cabrera in a playoff Sunday to win the Masters. Scott became Australia's first Masters champion while Cabrera came up just short in his bid for a second green jacket. Recap every shot of the playoff with our shot-by-shot blog, check out the best from the final day right here and see the final scores with our leaderboard.
Tiger leaves empty-handed again
A Masters that began so swimmingly for Tiger Woods effectively ended late in the second round, when his near-perfect wedge struck the flagstick at No. 15 and ricocheted into the water.
He left the grounds late Sunday afternoon in a steady drizzle, empty-handed once again for the eighth straight year.
His 2-under 70 left him tied for fourth at 283, four strokes behind the number that sent Scott and Cabrera to a playoff won by the Australian, whose caddie, Stevie Williams, once used to work for Woods.
Was this a case of karma? Plenty of people felt Woods should have withdrawn after his controversial drop on Friday, which could have gotten him DQ'd but instead resulted in a two-stroke penalty.
But Woods put much of the blame on a familiar nemesis: his putting. Watch Woods explain his putting problems in the video above.
Just before he left the clubhouse, Woods was asked whether hitting the flag was as bad a break as he's had in his career?
He reflected for a moment.
''I've had a few,'' he said finally, ''but that's certainly up there.''
Do hot WAGs make good golfers cold?
So much for having a famous WAG on your bag. While Lindsey Vonn (Woods), Caroline Wozniacki (Rory McIlroy) and Paulina Gretzky (Dustin Johnson) all showed up at Augusta to cheer on their men, they brought nothing in the way of luck. Woods tied for fourth, Johnson tied for 13th and McIlroy tied for 25th.
Maybe they need to lose that famous female baggage. Like Scott, who broke up with tennis star Ana Ivanovic ... and now is the Master of his domain.
Adam Scott broke up with Ana Ivanovic (tennis player) in January twitter.com/tonymanfred/st…— Tony Manfred (@tonymanfred) April 14, 2013
But still, Paulina Gretzky...
Scott beats Cabrera in crazy Masters finish
Whew. We're still trying to catch our breath after that Masters finish. Adam Scott beat Angel Cabrera in a two-hole playoff to become the first Australian to win the Masters.
''We like to think we're the best at everything. Golf is a big sport at home, and this is the one thing in golf we hadn't been able to achieve,'' Scott said. ''It's amazing that it's my destiny to be the first Australian to win. It's incredible.''
Scott and Cabrera both parred the 18th in the first playoff hole, then Scott hit a clinching birdie putt on the 10th to win the green jacket.
As Scott celebrated, Cabrera walked up with his right hand outstretched. Despite the language barrier, the two have become good friends, from their time as teammates in the Presidents Cup to frequent encounters out on the various world tours. They walked off the green arm in arm, both patting each other on the back. As Cabrera started to pull away, Scott yanked him close and said a few words.
No interpreter was needed.
''Angel is a great man,'' Scott said. ''He's a gentleman.''
It sure looked like Scott had it wrapped up on the 18th hole in regulation. On a slow, rain-soaked green, Scott nailed a long birdie putt on the final hole to break a tie with Cabrera as the latter watched from the fairway behind.
The putt put the Australian at 9-under for the tournament and heaped pressure on Cabrera, who handled it just fine, thank you very much. Cabrera striped his approach to within a few feet of the cup. He hit the putt for birdie and forced the playoff.
The leaders went back and forth all day, with Cabrera and Jason Day, another Aussie, each taking earlier turns as sole leaders.
Day led by two shots after the 15th hole, but the Australian — who eagled out of the sand earlier Sunday — bogeyed the 16th and 17th holes and finished in third place at 7-under.
Cabrera had led by two shots earlier in the day before a bogey on the 13th. But he kept his poise then and again on the 18th to force the playoff.
Yet another Australian, Marc Leishman, finished at 5-under, tied with Tiger Woods for fourth place. Brandt Snedeker, a co-leader entering the day, trailed off on the back nine and finished at 4-under.
Greg Norman, who suffered more than his share of Masters heartbreak, tweeted how proud of his countrymen he was, especially Scott:
What happened today I observed in the eyes of Adam when he was 15. He deserves everything he gets from this win. Proud of him & #australia.— Greg Norman (@SharkGregNorman) April 15, 2013
The Duck gracious in defeat
The 43-year-old Cabrera missed a chance at becoming the second-oldest Masters winner, behind only Jack Nicklaus in 1986.
Still, it was a remarkable accomplishment for a golfer who came in ranked No. 269 in the world, and never seems to play winning golf unless he's in the biggest tournaments of all.
Before this Masters, his last win on the PGA or Europeans tours came at the 2009 Masters, where he defeated Chad Campbell and Kenny Perry in a playoff. And before that was The 2007 U.S. Open at Oakmont, where Cabrera beat Jim Furyk down the stretch.
El Pato ("The Duck") almost did it again, with his son as his caddie, no less, which would have put him in a pretty exclusive club as a three-time major champion.
''Such is golf,'' Cabrera said. ''Adam is a good winner.''
@cabrera_pato felicitaciones por hager jugado tan bien y con tanta determination. Muy especial haber estado al lado de tu hijo. Te saludo.— Gary Player (@garyplayer) April 15, 2013
Translation: Congratulations on playing so well and with such determination. Very special being next to your child. I salute you.
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Scott win rubs a little salt on Tiger's tough day
Tiger Woods just never got it rolling Sunday.
After a struggle over the first seven holes, Woods finally got his game together on the ninth hole, sinking a long, twisting birdie putt for his first good mark of the day. He followed it up with another lengthy birdie on the 10th.
After pars at 11 and 12, he went all out to hit the green in two on the par-5 13th, converting the chance into another birdie. That put him 4-under on the day and four shots off the lead at the time. He then missed a birdie chance at 16, which also served as his last gasp. He finished the round 5-under overall, 2-under for the day, four shots behind the leaders' final scores.
We won't have to worry about that pesky controversy that would have come up had Tiger won after all the hubbub over his penalty (or lack thereof, depending on your viewpoint) from Friday. But we'd be remiss not to point out how much different things might have turned out had he not incurred the two-stroke penalty for his bad drop during Friday's round ... or if the original shot hadn't caromed off the flagstick.
Scott is one of the most liked players on tour, but Woods couldn't have enjoyed watching him win too much. Scott's caddy is Steve Williams, Tiger's former longtime caddy before a contentious end to their relationship.
Under darkening clouds, Scott said he could barely read the winning putt. That's when he called over Williams and asked him to take over. Williams was on the bag for 13 of 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.''
''The winning putt might be the highlight putt of my career,'' Williams said. ''Because he asked me to read it.''
Recap Tiger's every move from the final round with Golfweek's Tiger Tracker.
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Good efforts from Sergio, "Thunderbear"
Two players were lingering most of the afternoon just behind the leaders mentioned above: Sergio Garcia and 2013 best name champion Thorbjorn (translation: "Thunderbear") Olesen.
Olesen had a great round, shooting a 4-under 68 despite a bogey on 18. He finished 4-under for the tournament. Sergio Garcia also bogeyed the 18th and finished at 3-under.
Can't wait to see you again, Thunderbear.
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Rainy weather a factor all day long
They played through it all day long, but players and fans alike had their umbrellas out as the rain picked up pace in Augusta. The steady rain was a visible nuisance and appeared to have a real effect on speed of the greens, but play was never halted.
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Jason Day eagles out of the sand
If you're going to take the lead on the final round of the Masters, an eagle out of a bunker is a heck of a way to go.
Australia's Jason Day hit that shot of the day on the second hole Sunday, following up a birdie on the first. The run moved him into first place at 8-under at the time. Snedeker birdied the first minutes later to tie him at the top. Cabrera got to 8-under shortly after too with a birdie on the second.
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Bernhard Langer cools off after early charge
Bernhard Langer, 55 years young, crushed it to start the final round. He went birdie-birdie-birdie in the first three holes to get to 5-under.
Things got much worse afterward for Langer. He made a routine par at the fourth, then saved par with a beautiful putt at the fifth. But the magic left him at the sixth hole, where he bogeyed to fall back to 4-under. He also bogeyed the seventh and 10th, then double bogeyed the 12th and 13th and finished 2-over for the tournament, 4-over for the day.
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Bubba, Kevin Na both get a 10 on a par-3
A very rough 12th hole for Kevin Na, who tallied a 10 on the par-3. He sent his first three tee shots into the drink, then just crushed his fourth safely over the green to be sure it stayed dry.
He was a good sport about it all, tipping his cap to the gallery after mercifully wrapping it up. The gaffe put him at 16-over for the tournament.
If this name sounds familiar in a nightmare-hole sort of context, it should.
Here's a valuable lesson for Kevin:
Here's Kevin Na not understanding that "It's all in the hips" -> ow.ly/k3e9E— Happy Gilmore (@_Happy_Gilmore) April 14, 2013
Later in the day, Bubba Watson suffered the same fate on the same hole, also plunking three balls in the pond. He earned the “My 10 Was Better Than His 10” Award for talking about his with more flourish than Na.
“You know, it’s funny, if you’re not going to win, you’ve got to get in the record books somehow,” Watson said, “so I’m a guy that got a double digit score on a par-3.”
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Guan gives us one last smile
Our man Tianlang Guan, the juice box-drinking 14-year-old phenom, didn't materialize as a contender over the weekend after barely making the cut following a dubious slow play penalty/controversy, but he gave us one last hurrah on the 17th hole Sunday:
Guan was 3-over for the day, ending at 12-over for the tournament.
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No miracles for the morning players
Phil Mickelson bogeyed the 18th and finished 1-over on the day, 9-over for the tournament. Rory McIlroy finished 3-under on the day but only 2-over for the tournament. David Toms and Michael Thompson posted the best rounds of the day, each shooting a 5-under 67, but no one from the morning groups made enough of a run to be a factor.
The best part of the morning was probably the New York Post's take on the Tiger situation.
It would have taken a great feat for any of the morning players to get in the mix, as the odds were certainly not with them:
Only #Masters champion not inside top 10 after 54 holes was Art Wall Jr. in 1959. 19 of past 22 champions come from final group.— Robert Lusetich (@RobertLusetich) April 13, 2013
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Think Tiger should be DQed? Shut up
It was the talk of Saturday at the Masters. Should Tiger Woods be disqualified after his bad drop controversy during Friday's second round? Some in the golf community said yes, even going so far as to call for Tiger to withdraw.
Let our own Robert Lusetich tell you why you're nuts to think that way.
Turns out, it didn't matter, as Tiger never fully got himself into contention Sunday. But if that ball on the 15th hole Friday had never hit the flagstick ... hmmm ...