Thirty-two-year-old Australian high-five expert Adam Scott awoke a nation of napping Americans early Sunday evening—and enlived an entire continent Down Under, where it was Monday morning—with a miracle 20-foot putt at the Masters and a double-overtime win worthy of a wild sports weekend in the South. Here's how one of the greatest finishes in golf's greatest event went down.
The electric young golfer, who had never won a major PGA tournament, began the 18th hole at a rainy Augusta National Golf Club tied with the 43-year-old Argentine Angel Cabrera at 8-under. It was supposed to be a good day for Argentina.
Updated Argentina Power Rankings:1. Messi 2. Pope Francis3. Maradona4. Angel Cabrera— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) April 14, 2013
Then this happened (via Yahoo Sports):
Scott was pretty pumped up, and looked right for Steve Williams, the caddie from New Zealand famous for walking alongside Tiger Woods (via Buzzfeed Sports):
"C'mon Aussies, c'mon," in case you're wondering, is an Australian saying that comes from an old cricket commercial jingle. And Scott clearly thought he'd won "for a split second," he would say later. "Good thing he didn't hurt himself on that," CBS's Jim Nantz would say. Seriously—here's a high-five closeup (via SBNation):
Then this happened:
Yes, Cabrera's approach on 18 landed just two feet from the cup. "What a golf shot," said Nantz, not quite as remarkably. But Cabrera tapped in for the rare back-to-back birdie on the final whole at Augusta, and the two headed to a sudden-death playoff.
After tying on the first hole, Scott and Cabrera headed to Augusta's picturesque tenth. And then: Following nearly even approach shots, Scott and Cabrera gave each other dueling thumbs-up before facing off with dueling putts, from almost the same distance. This was for the win. Cabrera laid up literally on the edge of the cup and Scott, from a few feet closer than the wild putt that got him there, nailed another — and earned Australia its first green jacket. Here's how the Aussies saw the final putt:
CBS was quick with the clichés: "a life-changer," "the Wizard of Oz," and "from Down Under to on top of the world" surfaced on air within a minute of the winning putt. "Great Scott" will no doubt be on at least a dozen newspaper front pages, but, hey, the Aussies love their golf, and Scott, bred to be a star as a young man who got training and advice from every Australian golfer with everything but a jacket, was something of a fitting first. Speaking of which, the jacket fit (again via SBNation):
"I tried not to think about anything today along those lines," Scott told Nantz about whether he felt the presence of all those (very) excited Australia. "And the thing I did out there was stay right there where I was.... Australia is a proud sporting nation, and this is one notch in a belt that we'd never got. And it's amazing that it's come down to me today."
The Aussies, as you can imagine, were pretty pumped up about its "instant national hero" as well:
C'mon Aussie c'mon, c'mon! Expect most of Australia to be a couple of hours late for work ... no worries! twitter.com/ideveloper/sta…
— Adrian Ong (@ideveloper) April 15, 2013
The pubs will be open alot later in Australia tonight. I think people are gonna be late for work in the morning.— Vinny Lofaso (@Thefunnybone123) April 14, 2013
Pubs will be buzzing! “@graeme_mcdowell: 945am Monday morning east coast of Australia now..... I fear for productivity right this second!!”— Robert Lusetich (@RobertLusetich) April 14, 2013
If Scott and Day make it to a playoff, Australia's work day would be ruined and the country would lose millions. pubs on he other hand...— Charlie Heritage (@gboropirate) April 14, 2013
Oh, and about that short "belly putter," or broomstick, that Scott prefers—it is, in fact, legal. It won't be in a couple years. But Adam Scott (not that one) has until 2016 to figure that out. In the meantime, he might want to get his rest. That was one of the most energetic hours of golf anyone's put out since this guy, who struggled with the wet, slow greens Sunday and finished lower down on the leaderboard (after a controversial texted-in rule technicality kept him in it), but still above that 14-year-old kid:
Meanwhile, there was no joy in Texas, where sports related tragedy struck—and with a twist: A NASCAR fan shot himself at the NRA 500 in Fort Worth Saturday night. There was arguing in the infield with fellow campers, and there was alcohol, but a medical examiner on Sunday ruled the death of the man, Kirk Franklin, a suicide, apparently "in or around a pickup truck" in the middle of the track. The National Rifle Association sponsorship of the Sprint Cup race had been a point of contention, and despite the peculiarities of NASCAR marketing a spokesperson for the sport told The New York Times, in the paper's Sunday profile of NRA figurehead Wayne LaPierre, that NASCAR was reviewing its sponsorships, given "current circumstances."