Adam Scott became the first Australian to wear the coveted green jacket upon winning the Masters Golf Tournament at Augusta National on Sunday in a playoff over Argentine Angel Cabrera. This was his first major victory. He finished at 9-under-par for the weekend, shooting 69 on both Saturday and Sunday.
Before the tournament, Tiger Woods had taken over the number one world ranking in late March and was presumably the favorite. On Friday, though, Woods was penalized two strokes after tournament officials realized he had dropped his ball farther away than he should have, following a shot into the water hazard. According to Masters rules, the player can play the previous shot over again — with a one-stroke penalty — if the ball falls into a hazard. Woods took this option but placed his ball a considerable distance from where he initially shot. Though some thought he should have been disqualified following the penalty, he was not. Unable to bounce back afterward, Woods finished at 5-under, tying for fourth place.
The second big headline of the weekend came in the form of the youngest competitor in the history of the Masters. Tianlang Guan, a 14-year-old from China, ended his weekend at 12-over-par. He defied all odds when he made the cut on Friday, especially after he incurred a one-stroke penalty due to slow play. Nonetheless, he maintained his composure through the weekend and earned the low-amateur title for the tournament, a truly impressive feat, especially for an eighth grader.
Sunday at the Masters always finds a way to supersede all the other days, and this year at Augusta National was no exception. Entering Sunday afternoon, the battle was tight at the top with Cabrera and Brandt Snedeker at 7-under-par, Scott at 6-under-par and the eventual third-place finisher Jason Day at 5-under-par. Woods was also lurking around the top of the leaderboard at 3-under-par.
The excitement began on the 18th green when Adam Scott sunk a 20-foot putt for birdie and headed into the clubhouse with a one-stroke lead and the roar of the Masters crowd behind him. He just needed to wait for Cabrera to finish. But Cabrera pulled through, with a birdie of his own on 18. After a back nine that saw as many as four or five competitors in the running for a green jacket, it was down to just two.
After playing nearly identical holes on the first playoff at 18, Cabrera and Scott walked down to the 10th hole to settle things. Both golfers reached the green in two shots, and it would come down to a birdie putt. Cabrera went first, missing as the ball hung on the right side of the cup. Things went a bit differently for Scott, who, after so many close calls at previous majors, was able to dial in his birdie putt, clinching the green jacket and the first victory at Augusta National for the land down under.
A version of this article appeared in the Wednesday, April 16 print edition. Sam Barder is a staff writer. Email him at [email protected]