At 6:52 local time Adam Scott anchored his putter and began his backstroke on the 18th green. Until that moment, the final round of the 2013 Masters left a lot to be desired, and felt destined to be remembered for controversy, wet weather, and missed opportunities.
Tiger Woods was unable to make a run at the leaders, never breaking 70 in any of his four rounds, and left to wonder what might have been after his fluky shot on the 15th hole on Friday rolled back into the water after hitting the flagstick, and leading to all kinds of controversy.
Brandt Snedeker played the back half of Friday, and all of Saturday, without making a bogey, but five years after another disappointing round in the final group he limped in with a 75.
Jason Day had the outright lead late on Saturday and Sunday, only to make consecutive bogeys in each round near the finish.
All the while, the rain poured down on Augusta National Golf Club and its patrons, making many wonder if they should stick around for the finish. But those that waited- and even waded- it out until 6:52 would be treated to 46 minutes of sensational golf.
Scott's birdie putt on the 18th green hit the left side of the cup, rolled in, and put the Australian one shot ahead of Angel Cabrera, who was standing back in the fairway waiting to make his approach to the green. For a brief moment Scott, and everyone "Down Under," believed he had become the first player from that continent to finally put on golf's most famous jacket.
But as the gallery roared for Scott, the 2009 Masters Champion, Cabrera, steadied himself in the fairway, and rattled the grounds, hitting a flush iron shot that landed inside two feet from the hole. With rain falling harder than ever, the Argentine tapped in, and forced a sudden death playoff.
After this drama, many wondered what either player had left in the tank. The answer was brilliant golf, as both striped the 18th fairway in the playoff, and made impressive pars.
After both split the fairway, and hit approach shots inside 20 feet of the 10th hole, Cabrera had a chance for his second green jacket, and third major victory. His putt would stop inches past the hole, leaving Scott with a chance to win his first major championship.
Scott had the lead last year in the final round of The Open Championship, before collapsing on the closing holes and finishing second. And, like Day, he finished tied for second to Charl Schwartzel two years ago in the Masters.
As he lined up his putt for victory he said he couldn't help but think of all the close calls his countrymen had in this tournament, especially Greg Norman, who finished second three different times. But at 7:38 on Sunday night, Adam Scott poured his putt right in the center, winning his first major and the first Masters title for Australia.
After Tiger's controversy, players limping to the finish, and many patrons running to shelter from the storm, "the waders" witnessed one of the more dramatic finishes in the 77 year history of golf's greatest tournament.
As Scott walked off of the 10th green he had an emotional embrace with his father. Nearby, a man told his son "that turned out good."
Never in doubt.
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