AUGUSTA, Ga. — If you watched the final round of the Masters, three things became ever-clear by Sunday night. Adam Scott was finally and deservedly a major champion. I'd rather play poker with a guy nicknamed after a city than bet against Angel Cabrera making a big shot on the back nine at Augusta National. And the Australian people really love their sports.
I mean really, really, really love their sports. Like Joni Loves Chachi or Everybody Loves Raymond.
They are a sporting nation they say. We're not talking about hand-holding either, we're talking about full-blown-on-the-mouth smooching love of sports. You name it, they love it. Heck, they even have their own rules for football. We're talking L-O-V-E people.
But apparently, they really love golf, and they as a nation have been tortured by Greg Norman's historic failures at these hallowed grounds.
Hey, every player who's ever put a peg in the ground has dreamed of winning at Augusta. You, me, my mailman, your dentist -- especially your dentist -- and even Greg Norman. That Norman was painstakingly close a few times and gave it away wrapped up in a bow the size of Brainerd makes that painful. It also makes that history.
Here would be a nice point to mention that Norman did win two majors and has like a ka-billion dollars and a boat the size of No. 10 at Moccasin Bend. Sure, he likely deserved to win a green jacket, especially in 1996 when he imploded down the stretch on Sunday afternoon.
That's part of the magnitude of major championships. You win them they change your life; you lose them, they change your life.
Scott deserves high praise for delivering in every big moment in the biggest tournament in golf. He deserves a lifetime of high-fives for making one big shot after another to survive an endless and dogged pursuit by Cabrera. Scott said all the right things and credited Norman for being a mentor.
We should love and admire the guts and will Scott shared with everyone on the rain-soaked Augusta grounds. We should love the effort and perfection and perseverance he invested, chased and showed to win his first major. We should love it for what it means today, not that it somehow settles some score from 18 years ago or rights some wrong from a previous generation.
It shouldn't matter whether he's from Dalton or Denmark, Austin or Australia, what he did Sunday was incredible. Scott of all people -- he of the perfect swing and the perfectly imperfect showing in major championships -- deserves this moment, and he deserves even more respect because he's willing to share it.
And the folks he bested should love the example he set. That a multiple-time major heartbreak victim can become a first-time major champion. It comes with work and will, but the seeds are sprinkled with more than a little bit of loss and watered with more than a few tears.
"The last Masters I ended in tears, and now my daughter's crying," Nashville's Brandt Snedeker said after shooting a 75 Sunday and falling to a share of sixth after sharing the lead after 54 holes. "I guess we're just tearful."
The tears and pain help forge the steel needed to win majors. The anguish that Scott has lived with helped him today.
But winning major championships is not like returning library books; no one is due just because we all think so. Ask Norman. Ask Snedeker. Heck, ask Jason Day, who had a share of the lead and fell by the wayside with bogeys on two of the final three holes.
"I know that he's come so close, so many times in majors," Day said of Scott, "and he really does deserve it."
Day should know; he's Australian, and they love their sports.
Contact Jay Greeson at firstname.lastname@example.org
Jay was named the Sports Editor of the Times Free Press in 2003 and started with the newspaper in May 2002 as the Deputy Sports Editor. He was born and raised in Smyrna, Ga., and graduated from Auburn University before starting his newspaper career in 1997 with the Newnan (Ga.) Times Herald. Stops in Clayton and Henry counties in Georgia and two years as the Sports Editor of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal preceded Jay’s ...