It was the moment for which we waited 79 years, and even then we were kept in suspense until the final moment.
There have been too many Australian near-misses at the U.S. Masters for Adam Scott’s victory to be taken for granted.
Scott came second two years ago, a bittersweet honour for any competitive athlete and the unhappy lot of Greg Norman on three occasions. When Argentina’s Angel Cabrera failed to sink a birdie putt in the sudden-death playoff, the chance fell to Scott to secure the prize that has eluded Australian golfers for three-quarters of a century — the winner’s green jacket. The 32-year-old Queenslander kept his nerve, holing a 4-meter putt to become one of only 10 Australian male golfers to win a major and the first to win the Masters. With one deft touch of the putter, Scott leaped into the stellar ranks of Australian sporting greats.
His achievement has been a long time in the making. Since turning professional in 2000, he has worked assiduously to lift his game. Only last year, he lost the British Open to South Africa’s Ernie Els by a stroke. This year’s strong performances by Jason Day, who finished third, and Marc Leishman, who tied in fourth place, augur well for the future of Australian golf.
Australia’s Masters victory coincides with the 30th anniversary later this year of Australia II’s victory in the America’s Cup yachting race. The comparisons are irresistible. After 132 years, the crew of Australia II were able to claim victory in a sporting challenge that had long escaped us. As a nation that unites behind sport perhaps more than anything else, having so often bonded in the afterglow of international triumph, Scott’s victory is not only a personal one — it is a victory that Australians will remember for many years to come.
The Australian, Sydney