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From teary-eyed teen to green jacket: Scott's Masters triumph

From Rachel Nichols, CNN
updated 4:31 PM EDT, Fri April 19, 2013
Adam Scott became his country's first Masters champion with his playoff win at Augusta.
Adam Scott became his country's first Masters champion with his playoff win at Augusta.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Adam Scott becomes first Australian winner of the Masters
  • The new world No. 3 beat Argentina's Angel Cabrera in a two-hole playoff
  • Scott watched on as Greg Norman collapsed to lose a six-stroke lead in 1996
  • Scott threw away a four-shot lead over the final four holes of 2012 British Open

(CNN) -- From teary-eyed teenager to the proud owner of a green jacket, Adam Scott's transformation from best of the rest to major winner has involved a fair amount of heartache.

The newly-crowned Masters champion watched on television as his hero and fellow Australian Greg Norman threw away a six-shot lead at Augusta in 1996, while Scott himself blew a four-shot advantage over the final four holes of last year's British Open.

But there was no collapse, no choking on Sunday.

The new world No. 3 showed nerves of steel to defeat overnight co-leader Angel Cabrera in a tense two-hole playoff to win the first major of 2013.

"The whole nation stopped that day and felt for Greg," Scott told CNN when asked about Norman's implosion on April 14, 1996.

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"It was so hard to see your hero not come up with the goods that day like he normally always did. I learned lessons out of that day.

Adam Scott of Australia smiles while wearing the green jacket after winning the 2013 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, on Sunday, April 14. Scott captured golf's most prestigious event in an oh-so-close sudden-death playoff with Angel Cabrera. Click through to see all the shots from the fourth day and look back at the third round. Adam Scott of Australia smiles while wearing the green jacket after winning the 2013 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, on Sunday, April 14. Scott captured golf's most prestigious event in an oh-so-close sudden-death playoff with Angel Cabrera. Click through to see all the shots from the fourth day and look back at the third round.
The Masters: Final Round
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Photos: The Masters: Final Round Photos: The Masters: Final Round

"It's an amazing journey, the whole golfing career. I've played a lot of majors and to finally get one means a lot. I've knocked on the door a couple of times recently, to get over the hurdle is hopefully the start of something to come."

Scott has flirted with major success on a number of occasions.

He finished third at the 2006 PGA Championship before tying for second at the Masters two years ago, with his final-round collapse at Royal Lytham and St. Annes in 2012 was the closest he had got to winning one of the sport's four blue riband events, letting the Claret Jug slip from his grasp and into Ernie Els' hands.

Read: Australia's great avenger

Now, Scott is Australia's first Masters champion, succeeding where two-time major winner Norman and the great Peter Thompson failed.

"Golf is a game that can humble you very quickly, and it certainly did at the British Open," continued the 32-year-old.

"But I've won tournaments before and I've lost tournaments before and it's going to keep happening for the rest of my life. As much as I don't want to lose tournaments, it's inevitable.

"The British Open gave me more belief than anything. No doubt, it just gave me more belief that I am good enough to win a major championship."

Scott looked to have done enough for victory when he holed an impressive birdie on the 72nd hole of the weekend to move to nine-under par and into the outright lead.

But Cabrera, who held a share of the lead heading into Sunday, responded with a sublime approach shot to the final green and a playoff was required.

Scott eventually emerged victorious on the second playoff hole, the par-four 10th, fulfilling the dreams of the 15-year-old who watched Norman's infamous capitulation.

"It's quite a feeling to make a couple of putts to win a tournament," he said. "It's what every kid dreams about. For it to finally happen is amazing."

The Adelaide native becomes the latest player to win a major using the controversial belly putter. Els' victory over Scott was achieved using the club, while Webb Simpson and Keegan Bradley both belly putted their way to major championships.

That putter, which involves golfers anchoring the club to any part of the body, has divided golf in recent months.

The Royal & Ancient and the United States Golf Association, backed by the European Tour, has proposed banning anchored putting from 2016 onwards, a move opposed by the PGA and the PGA Tour.

For now though, Scott has time to savor his win at Augusta, while golf's regulators come up with a belly putter solution.

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