Poor finish at Augusta not all bad for McIlroy

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“I’m going to do it soon.”

One of the lingering images of the 2008 Masters was Snedeker sobbing uncontrollably after a dismal final round that included only six pars. It was his first Masters as a professional, and he was just two years removed from the Nationwide Tour. But he had played so poorly after wanting the green jacket so badly, and he was overcome with emotion afterward.

But Snedeker, despite his youthful looks, isn’t so wide-eyed anymore.

He won the Tour Championship last year, beating Rory McIlroy. There was a three-week stretch earlier this season when he was the hottest player in golf, finishing second to Tiger Woods at the Farmers, second to Phil Mickelson in Phoenix and capping the run with a win at Pebble Beach.

“I’m not here to get a good finish,” he said Saturday. “I’m not here to finish top five. I’m here to win, and that’s all I’m going to be focused on tomorrow.”

He just never had it Sunday. After scratching his way through the front, he opened the back nine with two straight bogeys, including a miss from 3 feet on 10, to fall three strokes off the lead. With the two par-5s still to play, however, he wasn’t out of it.

Then he put his approach shot on 13 in Rae’s Creek. As the ball splashed into the water, Snedeker grimaced and bent both ends of his hybrid club, looking as if he wanted to snap it.

He managed to save par, only to make bogey on the 14th.

“If I putt the way I normally putt and don’t make those two loose swings, I’m right there with a chance to win the golf tournament,” Snedeker said. “I know that if I do that again, play the exact same way again and I putt the way I normally do, I got a chance.”

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G’DAY MATES: 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.”

Australia may not have the golf tradition of, say, Scotland or England. But Australians are big on sports of any kind, and they’ve been particularly ga-ga for golf since Greg Norman was one of the world’s best.

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