BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA (AP) - It began overnight on social media in Australia, hours before three of the country’s best golfers teed off among the top five in the final round of the Masters in pursuit of that elusive green jacket.
Golf fans anxious for Australia’s first win at Augusta National even developed their own hashtag: itsourtime.
Adam Scott obviously thought it was, too.
The affable Queenslander beat Angel Cabrera in a two-hole playoff. The victory was sealed about 9:40 a.m. Monday local time on Australia’s east coast, nearly five hours after the keenest of fans woke up _ at 5 a.m. _ to watch the start of the telecast from Georgia.
Finally, the drought had ended. It was Scott’s first major, and the only major an Australian had never won.
Commuters whooped it up on buses on the way into Brisbane city, the capital of Scott’s home state. The Australian Broadcasting Corp. interrupted a local radio interview with Prime Minister Julia Gillard to give listeners regular updates on the playoff and the victory. Thousands of others were simply late for work or school, not wanting to leave their television sets until the tournament was finished.
Tom Watson, who missed the cut at Augusta this year, tweeted: “You showed great courage Adam … and resiliency from last year’s disappointment at Lytham.” Scott bogeyed the last four holes last year to lose the British Open by a shot to Ernie Els.
Golf Australia tweeted “quite simply, the most magnificent Monday imaginable.” Australian pro Marcus Fraser, who plays mostly on the European Tour, said “still speechless!”
Jessica Korda, a member of the LPGA tour who won last year’s Women’s Australian Open, tweeted: “Adam Scott!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A million girls just fell in love.”
Before the result was known, The Australian national newspaper underscored some of the frustration _ and pressure _ on the country’s golfers.
“Three Aussies share Masters burden,” blared a headline on its website, with the first line of the story reading: “This time, a nation’s expectations won’t fall on to the shoulders of just one man.”
Scott, Jason Day and Marc Leishman were all in the mix in the final round. Day finished in third.
But the Australian telecaster, Network Ten, may have jinxed at least one them.
The network sent a TV crew to the Warnambool Golf Club in southern Victoria, Leishman’s home club. They went live to the clubhouse during the telecast, but there were few cheering opportunities as Leishman finished with a 72 and was tied for fourth with Tiger Woods, four behind the closing 9-under totals of Scott and Cabrera.
Day, who shot 70 along with Cabrera, finished third, two behind the leading pair.