by Jeff Skinner
Scott survived a Masters that bordered on boring to thrilling and finally to electrifying over the last few holes. With three Australians in the mix it looked like a good bet the Aussies may win their first ever Masters title. But former Masters champion Angel Cabrera had something to say about the Aussies planned celebration.
On a day where Scott failed to make any putts of consequence he saved his best for last. Tied at eight under with his ball nestled on the eighteenth green he faced the biggest put of his 32 years on the planet. He had putted adequately but hardly spectacularly all day. His approach putts were always near the hole but few threatened to drop from any significant distance.
That was until the eighteenth green. With a solid approach he needed a birdie to pull ahead of Cabrera who was waiting in the fairway. With a lengthy putt facing him, the rain pelting him, the ghosts of Greg Norman by his side and the weight of Australia on his wet shoulders he rolled in the biggest putt of his life.
Scott let loose with some primal screams a few powerful uppercuts and released his years of major championship frustration. But it was a short lived celebration.
Cabrera, who was solid all day except for two bogies on ten and thirteen, was ready to spoil Scott’s party. Fresh off a birdie at sixteen which had put him back in a tie with Scott at eight under Cabrera fired at the pin and his approach rolled to three feet.
A jubilant Cabrera fist bumped his son/caddie as they walked up eighteen and Scott composed himself in the scorers hut and prepared to face El Pato in a playoff.
They played mano y mano with good drives, short approaches, good chips and par putts for both on the first playoff hole. These men were evenly matched as they both copied each other shot for shot on the tenth hole. With both facing putts for birdie Cabrera’s slipped by, once again leaving Scott with his long putter and a chance for immortality.
Scott dug deep and willed his ball into the hole. And once again he was able to scream and fist pump and cheer his long, painful quest to become a major champion.
It was an amazing end to another great Masters. But for Scott it is a beginning. A beginning of not being the best player without a major, of not feeling the pressure from the blown Open Championship.
For Scott this is the first day of the rest of his life, and the rest of his life as a major champion means his life has changed forever.