April 15, 2013 in Sports

Aussies rule at Augusta National

Three countrymen finish in top four
Nancy Armour Associated Press
 

AUGUSTA, Ga. – It was a g’day for all the Australians.

Not only did Adam Scott win the Masters on Sunday, ending the country’s agonizing drought at Augusta National, Jason Day and Marc Leishman gave Australia three golfers in the top four.

Day finished third, while Leishman and Tiger Woods tied for fourth.

“I’m a proud Australian,” Scott said, “and I hope this sits really well back at home.”

Greg Norman’s misfortunes at Augusta National – 1996, anyone? – elevated the Masters to almost mythic proportions for Australian golfers, and every one of them knew they were playing not only for themselves but the whole country any time they got in contention.

Day seemed to have the best shot, taking a two-stroke lead with three holes to go. But he made bogeys on the next two holes to fall a stroke behind, then ran a birdie putt that would have put him back in front a foot past the hole on 18. It’s the second time he’s faltered down the stretch at the Masters, finishing second in 2011.

“I think pressure got to me a little bit,” said Day, who finished two strokes behind Scott and Angel Cabrera.

“It’s unfortunate. But I’m very happy with how things are going right now with Adam,” Day said as Scott was heading to his playoff with Cabrera. “I’m hoping he can be the first player, if it wasn’t me.”

Leishman was never really a threat to win. But few even expected him to be on the leaderboard.

He’s ranked 108th in the world, and his only PGA Tour win was last year at Travelers. He’d missed the cut in four of his previous seven tournaments.

“Obviously it didn’t work out the way I wanted it to today, but I also had a great tournament,” said Leishman, who finished four strokes behind Scott after shooting his second straight 72.

“It’s something to build on for the rest of the year, for sure.”

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