Scott pays tribute to Norman in victory
US Masters champion plans to celebrate with fellow Aussie after dramatic play-off win at Augusta
Adam Scott of Australia celebrates winning the Master. Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters
“A phone conversation’s not going to do it, we’re very close,” Scott said. “I would love to share a beer with him and talk through it all.”
Scott saw off Angel Cabrera with a birdie at the second hole of a sudden-death play-off to lay the ghost of Lytham last year, when he bogeyed the last four holes of the British Open to lose by one stroke to Ernie Els.
“I don’t know how that happens,” Scott said of the thrilling finish which saw him birdie the 18th in regulation to seemingly clinch victory, only to then watch Cabrera match that in the group behind.
“It seems a long way away from last July when I was trying to win another major. It fell my way today, there was some luck there. It was incredible.”
Scott and Cabrera, the 2009 champion, finished tied at nine under, two shots ahead of Jason Day with a third Australian, Marc Leishman, tied for third on five under alongside world number one Tiger Woods.
“Australia’s a proud sporting nation and this was one notch on the belt that we’d never got,” Scott added. “It’s amazing that it’s come down to me today, Marc and Jason Day, it could have been any of us.
“But there was one guy that inspired a nation of golfers and that’s Greg Norman. He’s been incredible to me and all the young golfers in Australia and part of this definitely belongs to him.”
Norman famously blew a six-shot lead in the final round of the 1996 Masters, but won many admirers for the dignified way he handled that crushing disappointment.
“Anyone near to my age, he was the best player in the world, an icon,” Scott added. “Everything about the way he handled himself was incredible.
“He was a role model and he has devoted so much time to myself and other Australian players who came after him. He is incredibly generous.
“Most of us feel he could have slipped a green jacket on for sure.”
Scott looked to have avoided the need for a play-off when he drained a superb 25-foot putt on the final hole of his fourth round to card a 69.
But Cabrera, watching from the fairway in the following group, hit a magnificent approach to little more than three feet and holed out to extend the contest.
“It was a split-second I thought I’d won, you should never count your chickens,” said Scott, who roared “Come on Aussie” amid wild celebrations on the green.
“But that was the putt, we’ve seen so many guys make it to win and I thought ‘It’s time for me to step up’ and see how much I wanted it.
“To make a couple of putts to win the Masters tournament is just an amazing feeling.”
Cabrera himself went close when his chip at the first play-off hole ran just past the cup and said: “That’s how golf is. I came back and I had that chip on 18, I could have won it.
“But Adam’s a good winner. I would have been happier if I had won but he’s a great player, I get along with him, we’ve played together in the President’s Cup and I’m happy for him.”