Today’s Touch: Adam Scott, Masterful

As the last of the rain drops fell on Augusta National, and the last putt of the 2013 Masters dropped, it was Adam Scott, the likeable Aussie with movie-star looks and unreached potential, who emerged victorious and slipped into the green jacket.

Adam Scott: 2013 Masters champion

Angel Cabrera, or ‘El Pato’ (The Duck), should have won on a wet Sunday at Augusta. The 2009 Masters champion had the experience, he had the unflappable nerve, and he had family support – his son donning the white caddy coveralls for the week with papá.

But he didn’t. That’s golf.

Instead it was Scott, the 32-year-old former Mr. Kate Hudson, who made three birdies on the back nine – on both par-5’s, and the tricky finishing hole – to get to 9-under 279.

He called out “Come on Aussie!” to no one in particular as his 25-foot birdie putt on No.18 dipped into the side of the cup. But, it seemed loud enough to be a rallying wakeup call to his brethren down under – around 9:00 a.m. on Monday morning Australia-time.

“Come on Aussie!”

Scott celebrated for about thirty seconds, as Cabrera was waiting in the middle of the fairway for his turn, his moment at The Masters.

He did not disappoint, landing his approach to the final hole to about three feet and then quickly, calmly, draining the birdie to send the first major of the year to a playoff. The second in as many years.

The two men could not look any more different. But as they say, don’t judge a book by it’s cover.

No one gave the tournament away. There were no lip-outs or snap hooks into the pine straw. Drives were hammered, irons were spun as approach shots danced closer to the hole, and thumbs-up gestures were pointed back-and-forth. Golf is a wonderful game.

It was a week filled with controversy, and yet, and the end of a long, wet Sunday, two competitors who just gave all they had walked off the tenth green – the site of the second playoff hole – arm in arm.

A 14-year old made the cut, despite being assessed a penalty stroke for slow play. He pressed on, unfazed, and won the Low Amateur title. He’s still one year away from being “too old” for the Drive, Chip, and Putt Championship Augusta National is hosting next year. He should come back and enter. That would be a story.

The greatest golfer of our generation, Tiger Woods, was nearly disqualified. A perfect shot he hit on Saturday careened off the flagstick and into the water. The subsequent drop – deemed illegal – cost him another two strokes. Four total strokes, the result of a perfect shot. That’s golf.

Even Scott’s win may be deemed controversial. He wields a long wand while putting, a technique soon to be banned by the USGA. His victory means that four of the last five major champions have used a long (or belly) putter, and the spotlight will shine ever brighter on this “issue.”

For two hours on Sunday evening, the patrons of Augusta National may have cooled down in the rain and cool late-evening air. But the golf heated up. There was sportsmanship, masterful shotmaking, incredible putting, and a deserving champion.

Congratulations to Adam Scott, from down under to the top of the world.

On to Merion, and the U.S. Open.

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One thought on “Today’s Touch: Adam Scott, Masterful

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