Australian Adam Scott broke his duck by defeating “The Duck” (El Pato), Argentinian Angel Cabrera on the second playoff hole in the 77th Masters. Scott and Cabrera both birdied No. 18 to post nine-under-par 279 and advance to the playoff. Australian Jason Day rounded out the podium on seven-under-par 281.
Where do we start with this one? Let’s reflect back to The Open Championship last summer where Scott held a four shot lead with four holes to play at Royal Lytham St. Annes. Ernie Els made a birdie on No. 18 and Scott collapsed in the final four holes and his best chance yet at winning a major disappeared. Afterwards, Scott talked about how this would help him in the future and that this defeat would not define his career as a golfer.
He was right.
For the first time in 77 editions of the Masters, an Australian has won it. Adam Scott won the Masters just the way fantasy gamers thought he would by drilling fairways, racking up GIR and making just enough putts. His day began with a nervy bogey, his only of the day, but he righted the ship going out in even par 36. On the back nine, where the Masters begins on Sunday as the old story goes, he birdied both par fives and was faced with a birdie putt on No. 18 to take the lead. He drained it and shouted “Come on, Aussie” but his celebration was short lived as Cabrera hit the fairway and stuck his approach to just over two feet.
After seven straight years of finishing T23 or worse, Scott has blossomed at Augusta in his last four events, including this year’s victory. In his last 16 rounds, 13 have been under par and have led to finishes of T18 (2010), T2 (2011) and T8 last year. They say experience is a factor at Augusta and Scott’s victory came in his 12 attempt. After these performances, you or I cannot question him being anywhere but near the top of any projections lists next year.
The frustration that gamers had felt before with Scott in majors is now officially dead. Have a funeral. Bury it. Gone. Every tournament Scott enters, he’s been on my list, illegal putter or not, as his consistency and talent are undeniable. Long courses, short courses, good weather, bad weather, it doesn’t matter. He can flat-out play this game and now he adds a major to an already very solid career. I was happy to have him in Group C this week in Yahoo but I missed out in the GolfChannel.com game and PGATOUR.com game.
With this victory, Scott collects $1,440,000, 600 FedExCup points and the love and adoration of a great, sporting nation.
Déjà vu All Over Again?
There have been 16 tournaments this season. After Americans won the first 14, the rest of the world, Scotland and Australia, have won the next two.
In 2013 10 of the 15 stroke-play events this season the 54-hole leader (or co-leader) has gone on to victory. This is the third week in a row where the 54-hole leaders have not held up their end of the bargain as Angel Cabrera and Brandt Snedeker began Sunday in the final group. Adam Scott was in the second-to-last group, one back.
Only four of the last 15 major champions held the 54-hole lead.
Stewart Cink (2009 The Open), Martin Kaymer (2010 PGA), Keegan Bradley (2011 PGA), Bubba Watson (2012 Masters) and Adam Scott this year have all won their first major in a playoff. Weird that.
Scott joins Ernie Els, Webb Simpson and Keegan Bradley in the “anchored putter club” as major champions since 2011.
Geoff Ogilvy was the last Australian to win a major championship when he won the U.S. Open in 2006.
Jack Nicklaus, Nick Faldo and Tiger Woods are the only players in history to defend their titles at Augusta.
The par three champion still has never gone on to win the Masters (Ted Potter, Jr.)
The winners on TOUR have been Johnson (28), Henley (24), Gay (41), Woods THRICE (37), Mickelson (42), Snedeker (32), Merrick (30) Kuchar (34),Thompson, M (27) Brown (29), Streelman (34), Points (36), Laird (30) and Scott (32). The young folks (30 and younger) have six victories; the 30-somethings now have eight victories, and the “old folks” (40 and up) have their two wins. This week’s “great hope” for the Old folks was Cabrera (43) losing in the playoff. No shame in that.
Here’s the top 12 because they get to come back and play next year (unless they are injured, obviously!)
Angel Cabrera: There is ONE time a year you should look to him and that’s during the Masters. He now has WON and lost in a playoff in addition to four other top 10 finishes. His last top 10 was at The McGladrey in October 2011.
Jason Day: You felt sick as you watched him make two bogeys in his final three holes coming in both Saturday AND Sunday but remember this: He’s only 25 and he now has three podium finishes in major championships, including T2 (2011) and third this year at Augusta. Take out those four bogeys in the final three holes and he’s your winner this week. That’s when the money is on the table and that will be his next step, closing the deal at a monster event like this. He should be buoyed by his countryman’s performance! He’s close and he’s in the conversation for Augusta from here on regardless of his form leading into the event.
Tiger Woods: Where to start with this, eh? Well, since I’m not a rules expert OR a conspiracy theorist, I’ll leave you with this: If you hate Woods, you hated the ruling. If you like Woods, you have no problem with him doing what the rules officials told him to do. Ask Raider fans if they like the “Tuck Rule”. Just because the enforcement/application of the rule rubs you the wrong way doesn’t mean it’s wrong or impossible to conclude. Life is not black and white, sadly. And the next person that emails me to say they know what’s going on behind closed doors at Augusta is being put into the SPAM category in my mail. As for the golf, that two shot penalty didn’t help anything and neither did his lack of success on the par fives. As I mentioned in Rob’s event during the chat, Woods is the only guy I’ve ever seen play poorly and hit top fives regularly. He’s that much better than 99% of the guys out there, period. He just wasn’t this week. We’re disappointed three out of every four times that Woods tees it up. Just gotta figure out that 25% when he does win! For those of you who didn’t burn him in your one-and-dones, you have plenty to look forward to this season as his game is not in need of any critical help. It was a bad break and that’s that.
Marc Leishman: Maybe I’m going to start a “Merrick, Thompson, Points and Laird” weekly award for guys like this each week! Leishman had played this event exactly once and fired 72-79 in 2009. Now he adds a T4 to that! This season, he began the year T23 and T9 before missing four of the next seven cuts with his best finish being T38 in Tampa. All righty then! Great playing Leishman, but I don’t think too many of us in the fantasy world were paying attention because this was the first top 10 since he won at the Travelers last summer.
Thorbjorn Olesen: The young Dane who hits it a mile and can really stake GIR has now played in four majors. His finishes are MC (2011 Open Championship), T9 (2012 Open Championship), T27 (2012 PGA) and T6 this week in his first trip around Augusta. Shall I keep typing or have you already jotted his name down in permanent marker on your forehead? Just wear a hat to cover it up so your fantasy opponents don’t recognize it! Did I mention he opened with 78! Be on the lookout as he might have enough cash built up to receive temporary member status on TOUR for the rest of 2013.
Brandt Snedeker: The 54-hole co-leader with Cabrera will have a hard time sleeping tonight knowing that a round of just 71 could have gotten him into the playoff and that a round of 70 could have won his first major this evening. After only making five bogeys and a double in the first three rounds, Snedeker carded six bogeys and only three birdies to post 75 on Sunday. He’s seen Adam Scott go through this and now he’s been through it TWICE (2008) at Augusta. The man with the golden putter sputtered on Sunday and was only one of six in sand saves on the week. Those numbers don’t win major championships. He proved to me though he’s a force to be reckoned with at this event regardless of form/injury as well. This week’s T6 is the fourth time in five events he’s been T19 or better in the last six years.
Sergio Garcia: The first round co-leader (66) was up to his usual major tricks on Friday and Saturday as he shot himself out of the tournament with rounds of 76-73. His Sunday rally (-2; 70) moved him to T8 and another solid finish in a major without a victory. This is now 58 career majors without a win. Adam Scott was second with 47. Was. His T8 is only his third top 10 in 15 tournaments at Augusta but he was T12 last year. Maybe next year Garcia will put all four rounds together here.
Lee Westwood: Speaking of great players never to win a major, Westwood hold the current “record” of 60 in a row. This shouldn’t bother you because he has been automatic recently and you should have earned a few points with him in one-and-dones and Group C in Yahoo! Westwood finished second in 2010, T11 in 2011, T3 last year and T8 in 2013. That’s what you expect from a pro with a great track record when you put him in your lineup!
Matt Kuchar: See above essentially. Kuchar, who’s been flying in 2013, continued to impress with his fourth top 10 in nine events with his T8 finish. Kuchar backed up his T3 last year so that makes it four years in a row T27 or better. When you draft/select Kuchar, you expect top 10s and that’s exactly what you received this week.
John Huh: So much for having to have experience to play well at Augusta! Huh joins Leishman and Olesen in the top 12 (T11) as players who have only played here once or not at all. The impressive Huh was eligible for this year’s Masters because of his top 30 finish in the FedExCup last season. His only “top 25” this season was T18 and the limited field HTOC so there was absolutely no reason for him to be on your radar this week. This will help kick him out of his early sophomore slump so I’m going to start paying attention from here on.
Tim Clark: He ALMOST allowed playing with Tiger Woods on Sunday to get the better of him but he ground out 73 to stay in the top 12 and will be back for the 2014 Masters, long putter and all. After blazing out to second place finish in the first full-field event of the year, Clark’s best finish in next six stroke-play events was T46. He also missed his last three cuts here in the last three seasons. His best finish at Augusta was second in 2006 and has oddly finished T13 three other times. His T11 beats those! He’ll be a factor if he’s in the field next week at Hilton Head!
“Hey, what ever happened to…”
I take a look back at what happened to the chalk
Phil Mickelson: Um, well, ok, yeah, I had him in the one-and-done. SUE ME! If you haven’t noticed yet, I’m miserable at that game. The good news is it cannot last forever, right? RIGHT? You’ve been warned. Mickelson brought Phrakenwood and played like Frankentein. He beat the 14-year-old Chinese lad by three shots. Need I say more? It’s his worst finish EVER in 21 career events. At least when I pick them, they go out in a blazing fireball of glory!
Rory McIlroy: He was three-under and just three shots off the lead on the front nine on Saturday before he firebombed 42 on the back for 79. He rallied to make four bogeys against just one bogey on Sunday so I believe him when he says he just needs more rounds. The last three tournament weekends at Augusta have been 79-69, 77-76 and 70-80 in 2011. Unless you’re Thorbjorn Olesen, that doesn’t fly around Augusta! The more times around this course, the better he will be. If you chose him instead of Mickelson in group A in Yahoo, I hope you didn’t burn a start on him!
Justin Rose: T25 as the Englishman didn’t fire on the weekend as he carded rounds of 75-74. At one point he was leading the field in GIR but was in the bottom 15 in putting average so that’s where the problem lies. He’s now made all eight cuts in his eight career starts.
Luke Donald: T25 as well as he struggled to get any momentum this week. He broke par once in four rounds and that’s not enough around these parts.
Louis Oosthuizen: He made 10 bogeys and four birdies as he MC for the fourth time in five starts. His other finish was T2 last year. Maybe last year was a fluke.
Steve Stricker: Another major, another missed chance for Tiger Woods’ putting coach. His T20 finish was his fifth straight finish in the money at the Masters but he made too many doubles and bogeys to make a charge.
Rotoworld's Rob Bolton and I will be co-hosting a live chat Wednesday at NOON ET at Rotoworld.com. We will be breaking down the field at the RBC Heritage and answering your questions. Simply return to the golf home page to join in on the chatter. Please follow Rob (https://twitter.com/RobBoltonGolf) and Glass(https://twitter.com/GlassWGCL) on Twitter.