Over the next 10 days, until we get to the New Year, we will be rolling out the top-10 best golf moments of 2013. After much deliberation and debate, we picked what we thought were the 10 moments you will remember about this season a decade from now. We continue with No. 2 and Adam Scott's win at Augusta National. (No. 10 is right here, No. 9 is here, No. 8 is here, No. 7 is here, No. 6 is here, No. 5 is here, No. 4 is here, No. 3 is here)
We all know that Augusta National is an incredibly special place, but there is something undefinable about what happens late on Sunday during Masters week. We've see putts drop for Phil Mickelson that have no reason going in, wedges hook at an angle that doesn't even seem possible, and now an Australian do something that seemed like it might never happen on these hollowed grounds.
The last few years it is hardly a debate which major championship turns out to be the best. From Tiger Woods' holing an impossible chip on the 16th hole in 2005 to Angel Cabrera somehow hitting a tree and having his ball find the middle of the fairway in a playoff to Charl Schwartzel making four birdies over his final four holes to win his first green jacket, the recent run of great Masters is a treat for any sports fan, and it continued in 2013 with the play of Adam Scott.
Scott has always been the type of athlete that just never seemed real. From his looks to his golf swing to his attitude on the golf course, most fans have hoped he would be the guy to emerge as a major winner, and a man to chase someone like Tiger Woods as the best in the world.
Unfortunately for Scott, he had one thing going against him at Augusta National; that Australian flag next to his name. No Aussie had ever won the Masters, lowlighted by Greg Norman's final round explosion in 1996. This golf tournament was cruel to those Down Under, with the most recent example coming in 2011 when it seemed either Scott or Jason Day would emerge victorious until Schwartzel went on his ridiculous run to win by two shots (Geoff Ogilvy finished T-4 that same year to add insult to injury).
But '13 seemed completely different. After three rounds there were three Aussies in the top-five, with Day, Scott and Marc Leishman all with a chance at that first green jacket for their continent, but all having to chase down Cabrera, who was having another one of those weeks at a big tournament that Cabrera seems to always have. The two-time major winner was atop the leaderboard after 54 holes and with his son on the bag, looked like he would be the feel-good story at the first major of the year.
Scott was steady all day on Sunday, but he got to the 72nd hole needing a birdie to give himself a one-shot lead with Cabrera in the fairway behind him, and while his second shot found the right tier, it was a tough birdie putt that we had seen missed all day. Scott got caddie Steve Williams, a man that knows a thing or two about winning majors, to read the putt, he hit it brilliantly and the ball found the bottom of the cup. Scott's reaction was not only one of the best of the year, but one of the best we've ever seen on that final green at Augusta, and it looked like he would win the Masters in regulation if Cabrera couldn't answer with a birdie.
Cabrera did, sticking his approach to just a couple of feet, rolling in the birdie putt and setting up a playoff between a guy calmly looking for a third major and a guy hoping to join that illustrious club.
We all know what happened after that. The two both made par on the first playoff hole, the par-4 18th, and then went to the par-4 10th hole, the same spot that Bubba Watson had hit the shot of the year a season ago from well right of the fairway to win his first major in a playoff against Louis Oosthuizen.
Scott hit a precise second shot, leaned on the green-reading of Williams once more, and rolled in the birdie putt for the win and another priceless reaction.
It was an incredible moment for Scott, for Australian and for the game of golf, who landed a worthy major champion and someone that most think will add more to his legacy before he ends his career.