Aussies do us proud at the Masters
When Adam Scott won The Masters in April 2013 he achieved more than the glory of a maiden Major championship, the $1.4million in prize money and the honour of becoming the first Australian to wear the coveted Green Jacket.
The moment he rolled in that birdie putt at the second playoff hole, Scott elevated the profile of Australian golf to a level not experienced since the glory days of Greg Norman. The knock-on effect has and continues to be massive.
Adam Scott at the 2014 Masters (Credit: Getty Images)
After Matt Jones made it four wins in seven weeks by Australians on the PGA Tour a fortnight ago in Texas, the Aussies were primed for success heading to Augusta. Scott was defending champion and we had experienced victory on the PGA Tour this season more than any other nation, giving us all confidence something special might again happen at Augusta.
But it would not go to script with the Augusta greens, considered the most challenging of any major, playing their part in dashing our player’s hopes for success.
Scott was the highest-profile victim of the Augusta greens no more so than during his final Sunday round.
The defending champion tumbled from third to 16th courtesy of a front-nine 40 that all but ended his title defence as he slipped to one over and six shots out of the lead shared by American pair Jordan Spieth and Bubba Watson, before Watson went on to claim his second Master title in three years.
Scott closed out with a 72 to finish in a tie for 14th at 1-over-par, nine shots behind Watson.
“I’m striking it well enough, but it was so difficult to get the ball close to the hole to give yourself realistic birdie putts and I didn’t take advantage of the par fives again and that might be the killer for me this week,” Scott said.
John Senden was the best of the Aussies finishing at even par and in a share of 8th position, booking his return back to Augusta with his top-10 result and in the process recognising the enormity of the challenge with winning at the Masters.
“It’s one thing to come here and want to win the golf tournament and a Green Jacket,” said Senden.
“I saw Adam Scott do it last year and it was fantastic, it gave us all inspiration. Now that he did open the door last year, with the Aussies, with the momentum coming in here, it was right there for us, really.”
“I thought we were all playing well, but there’s a lot of good players up there, too, so you got to beat quality fields if you want to do well. They don’t just hand them [Green Jackets] out to anyone.”
Jason Day finished off his fourth Masters appearance in solid style for 20th place finish, but with limited opportunity for practice, he knew he was under prepared coming into the tournament.
“Obviously it’s frustrating for me to not be able to kind of have some more competitive rounds under my belt before Augusta,” said Day, referring to his time off from a thumb injury.
“But it is what it is. Some guys are hurt more than me and they can’t play right now.”
Steven Bowditch rode on his wave of success from Texas finishing in a tie for 26th in his first appearance at the Masters, which in itself is a credit to the Queenslander.
Oliver Goss was the only one of six amateurs who started the Masters to play at the weekend, his second round 71 seeing him as the first Australian to claim low amateur at the Masters.
Matt Jones was another casualty after a second round 78 saw him at 8-over and missing the weekend.
Unfortunately the story of Marc Leishman on day two wasn’t pretty either. Leishman’s ten dropped strokes in twelve holes ending his run at Augusta in a round that he would rather forget.
Once again the Aussies proved we have what it takes to claim another Green Jacket and with so many great players coming out of this country it is only a matter of time before it happens again. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?