Augusta, Ga. • Adam Scott became the first Australian to win the Masters, beating Angel Cabrera on the second hole of a playoff on a soggy Sunday at Augusta National.
The Masters went to a sudden-death playoff for the second year in a row when Scott and Cabrera made matching birdies on the 72nd hole.
They both made par on the first extra hole, returning to No. 18, before Scott rolled in a 12-footer for birdie to win it.
Scott pumped his fists in the air, screaming toward the gray, darkening sky, and embraced caddie Steve Williams, who was on the bag for 13 of Tiger Woods’ 14 major titles.
For Scott, this is the first, making up for his major meltdown at last year’s British Open, where he bogeyed the last four holes to lose by a stroke to Ernie Els.
“I found my way today,” Scott said.
Scott, playing in the next-to-last group, made a 20-foot putt at 18 and celebrated with Williams as if it were over. Cabrera, in the final group, watched from the fairway knowing he had to hit a brilliant shot.
Cabrera’s ball pulled up 3 feet from the cup for an easy birdie that sent the two players to the playoff tied at 9-under 279.
“That’s how golf is,” said Cabrera, who was denied his third major title. “I had some issues during the course but I came back.”
Another Australian, Jason Day, had the lead until he bogeyed the 16th and 17th holes. He finished two strokes out of the playoff at 281.
Woods, the overwhelming favorite, came up short again. He hasn’t won the Masters since 2005, or any major championship since the 2008 U.S. Open.
Woods struggled with the putter on the front side, then missed a birdie try at No. 16 that could have put some pressure on the leaders.
“I had a hard time getting accustomed to the speed,” said Woods, who finished in a tie for fourth at 283. “Every putt I left short for probably the first eight holes.”
Tweets from AP’s Paul Newberry:
Tiger Woods can start looking ahead to the U.S. Open.
He’s gone through another major without making up any ground on Jack Nicklaus.
Woods shot 2-under 70 for the third time in four rounds, not enough to win his fifth green jacket.
He finished at 5-under 283, three strokes off the lead as he went to the clubhouse.
Woods has 14 major titles, four behind Nicklaus’ record. Tiger hasn’t won a major since the 2008 U.S. Open, the longest drought of his career.
ALL TIED UP
We’re all tied up at the Masters.
Australia’s Adam Scott made birdie at the 15th hole just before countryman Jason Day took a bogey at the 16th. Day made a questionable decision from behind the green, going with the putter with 12 feet of fringe to work with. He came up far short and missed the par putt.
They are both at 8 under, with former leader Angel Cabrera just one stroke behind.
Looks like quite a finish at Augusta National.
No Australian has ever won the Masters.
AUSSIE, AUSSIE, AUSSIE
Jason Day is three holes away from becoming the first Australian to win the green jacket.
With a tap-in birdie at the 15th hole, Day stretched his lead at the Masters to two strokes.
The Aussies even have a couple of backup plans should Day falter.
Adam Scott is two strokes behind, Marc Leishman is three back.
Just like that, we have a new leader at the Masters.
Brandt Snedeker and Angel Cabrera, playing in the final group, knocked back-to-back shots into the creek at No. 13.
The miscue was particularly damaging to Cabrera, who was leading the tournament by a stroke. About the time he was hitting his fourth shot from the drop area, Jason Day rolled in a birdie putt at the 14th. When Cabrera made bogey, Day claimed the lead at 8 under.
Cabrera and Adam Scott are one shot behind, and keep an eye on Tiger Woods. He’s making a late charge.
There are some great nicknames on display at the Masters.
The leader, Angel Cabrera, is known as “El Pato” (The Duck). Then there’s Thorbjorn Olesen of Denmark, whose name translates to “Thunderbear.”
Olesen’s first name is Jacob but he switched to using one of his middle names because it’s more unique. He’s creating quite a bit of noise in the final round at Augusta National, 5 under on the day with one hole to play.
It might not be quite enough. Olesen is three strokes behind Cabrera.
MAKING THE TURN
Angel Cabrera is halfway to his second green jacket.
The 43-year-old from Argentina made the turn at 9 under and holding a two-stroke lead over his playing partner in the final group, Brandt Snedeker.
Cabrera was steadier than any of the leaders on the front side, making two birdies and seven pars. He won the Masters in 2009.
There’s been a steady rain since the leaders teed off at the Masters.
That’s got to be a good sign for the guy nicknamed “The Duck.”
Angel “El Pato” Cabrera has built a two-stroke lead with steady play over the first seven holes — two birdies, five pars, and a 9-under total. Jason Day is at 7 under, while Adam Scott and Brandt Snedeker are another shot back.
While Olympic ski champion Lindsey Vonn is cheering on Tiger Woods again at the Masters, her ex has been on Twitter delivering a shot at the new couple.
Woods was penalized two strokes on Saturday for an improper drop in the second round, hurting his chances to win a fifth green jacket. The problem started when a television viewer called in to question whether Woods had followed the rules.
Thomas Vonn tweeted, “No problem Masters tournament happy to call in and help. You always have to keep an eye on those cheaters.” He added a smiley face to his comment.
Somehow, we get the feeling that neither Tiger nor Lindsey is smiling.
Tiger Woods has never come from behind to win any of his 14 major titles. There’s no sign of a breakthrough at the Masters.
While others are charging up the leaderboard, Woods is plodding along with a shaky putter. He started with four straight pars before a three-putt bogey at the fifth knocked him back to 2 under. He followed with a bogey on No. 7 — falling a daunting seven strokes off the lead.
Looks like it’s time to start looking ahead to the U.S. Open in June, Woods’ next chance to draw closer to Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 major titles.
This time No. 12 got Bubba Watson. Last year’s Masters champion put up the second 10 of the day on the hole called Golden Bell. Earlier Sunday, Kevin Na had a 10 on the Par 3, 155-yard picturesque hole that showed how treacherous it can be with Rae’s Creek in the front and three bunkers, one in front and two in the rear, surrounding it.
Experience sure matters at Augusta National. Fifty-five-year-old Bernhard Langer is contending at the Masters after starting the final round with three straight birdies. The two-time winner has pushed his score to 5 under, three strokes behind co-leaders Brandt Snedeker and Jason Day.
It was a forgettable Masters for Lefty. Phil Mickelson closed a tough week with 1-over 73 in the final round. That leaves him at 9-over 297 — his second-worst score in the 20 times he’s made the Masters cut. The only year he went higher was in 2007, when Mickelson shot a 299 in much tougher conditions.
BACK TO SCHOOL
It’s back to homework for 14-year-old Guan Tianlang. After closing with a 75 for a 12-over total at the Masters, Guan says he’s got some studying to do, including math, science, history and English. As for his first Augusta experience, he says “the whole week was great for me. I really enjoyed it and had fun.”