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“Staying in the moment” is a phrase we hear all too often in golf but every now and then it’s nice to take a trip down memory lane. This time, we’re going back to 2013 where Adam Scott claimed his first Major Championship and became the first Australian to win the Masters.
To fully appreciate what happened in 2013, we first have to look back to 2012. Scott entered the final round of the Open Championship at Royal Lytham with a four shot lead and all but destined to get his hands on the Claret Jug. The golfing gods however, weren’t too kind. Like so many around him, Scott got off to a poor start. His birdie at the 14th reclaimed his four stroke lead and his grip on the tournament had never been tighter. Scott followed that birdie with four consecutive bogeys and his dreams of the tournament were dashed. Ernie Els, to his credit, birdied the final hole for a closing 68 and a one stroke victory. Speaking afterwards, Scott said “I try not to live life with regrets but I wish I won the Open”.
Fast forward nine months to the Masters and things were a little different for the Australian. He opened with rounds of 69 and 72 and found himself three shots back. Despite so, his name was not featuring in too many conversations. His third round 69 propelled him into third place and only one stroke behind Angel Cabrera and Brandt Snedeker.
Jason Day began the final round with a birdie at the first followed by an eagle at the second and it was he who looked set to be the first Australian winner of the Masters but late bogeys at 16 and 17 pushed him out of contention. Scott got off to a slower start with a bogey at the first and failed to take advantage of the par 5 second but a birdie at the third steadied the ship before what was to come. Scott birdied both the par fives on the back nine and found himself stood on the last tee tied for the lead with Angel Cabrera, a feeling he felt at Royal Lytham nine months prior.
Scott found the putting surface in two and his 25 foot birdie putt caught just enough of the left lip before coming to rest at the bottom of the cup. “COME ON, AUSSIES” he screamed. Speaking on the No Laying Up Podcast, Scott said, “I felt like I’d won the Masters”. The Australian added, he and caddie, Steve Williams, were walking to the back of the green when Steve chimed in – “This isn’t over yet”. Right he was. Moments later, Angel Cabrera stiffed his second shot to the last and we were heading to a playoff.
Both players scrambled for par on the 18th before it was the second playoff hole, the 10th, which proved centre stage. Again speaking on the No Laying Up Podcast, Scott said, “It was late and it was dark. It was unrealistic to play another hole”. Luckily they didn’t have to. With Cabrera safely in for par, Scott faced a 15-foot putt for the tournament. “It was the first time in my life I’ve had a putt to win a Major Championship. I was conscious of that”. Of course, the agonising putt on the final green at Royal Lytham was to tie.
Speaking of the putt, Scott said, “We’d done our usual routine and I said (to Steve), I think it’s a cup (outside the hole)”. Scott recalled Steve’s response, “Adam, this is two cups”. “Are you sure?” Scott asked. “It is absolutely two cups, it breaks a lot”. Assertive and decisive at the biggest moment of Scott’s career and the rest, as they say, is history. “That was the beauty of Steve. There is no doubt about his delivery of advice”, Scott added.
Williams began his caddying career at an early age. He caddied for Peter Thompson and Greg Norman before moving to Raymond Floyd and then Tiger Woods in 1999. With Williams on the bag, Woods won 13 of his 15 Major Championship titles. Williams has contributed to over 150 professional wins and renowned as the best caddie in the game.
Perhaps underappreciated at the time was the comment made by Ian Baker-Finch moments after Scott holed the winning putt. "From Down Under to on top of the word". So right he was.
James joined Golf Monthly having previously written for other digital outlets. He is obsessed with all areas of the game – from tournament golf, to history, equipment, technique and travel. He is also an avid collector of memorabilia; with items from the likes of Bobby Jones, Tiger Woods, Francis Ouimet, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Adam Scott and Ernie Els. As well as writing for Golf Monthly, James’ golfing highlight is fist bumping Phil Mickelson on his way to winning the Open Championship at Muirfield in 2013. James grew up on the east coast of England and is the third generation of his golfing family. He now resides in Leeds and is a member of Cobble Hall Golf Club with a handicap index of 1.7. His favourite films are The Legend of Bagger Vance and Tin Cup.
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