This Day In Sports: Green Jacket for a guy from Down Under

April 14, 2013, 10 years ago today: Adam Scott becomes the first Australian ever to win the Masters, and he does it in dramatic fashion. Scott birdied the 18th hole with a 20-foot putt to force a sudden-death playoff with 2009 champion Angel Cabrera—then won his first major on the second extra hole with a 12-foot birdie. It was sweet redemption for Scott, who the previous summer had blown the Open Championship (British Open) by bogeying each of the last four holes to lose by one shot to Ernie Els. The win at Augusta remains Scott’s only career championship in a major.

You can’t talk about Australians at the Masters without bringing up Greg Norman. First, Scott’s collapse at Royal Lytham & St. Annes in 2012 was compared to that of his countryman, who blew a six-shot lead in the 1996 Masters and lost to Nick Faldo. A missed chip for eagle on No. 15 had famously brought Norman to his knees. So it was doubly poetic that Scott was the first Aussie ever to triumph among the azaleas.

Norman’s demise was again a subject last weekend as Brooks Koepka was overcome by Jon Rahm in the 2023 Masters. Koepka was just the 12th player in history to be 12-under or better through 36 holes in any major. Of the 11 players who’d preceded him, nine went on to win their respective tournaments. Norman was the only one who didn’t, failing twice. As you know, Koepka frittered away the lead last Sunday and lost to Jon Rahm at Augusta. Koepka was up by just two strokes going into the final round instead of six. But still.

The other connection in this story is the LIV Tour, albeit a roundabout one. Norman, of course, is the driving force behind LIV. And Koepka is part of the breakaway group. Scott is not, although he did think about it last year. “Why I’m still with the PGA Tour is because it suits me best to still be on the PGA Tour,” Scott said at the President’s Cup last September.” It’s as simple as that, really. The one thing I haven’t grasped is giving up my entire professional life and trying to achieve these things here and just leaving it behind. I’m obviously not ready to do that.”

(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment during the football season on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra. He also anchors four sports segments each weekday on 95.3 FM KTIK and one on News/Talk KBOI. His Scott Slant column runs every Wednesday.)

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