AUGUSTA — Somehow, Adam Scott won a green jacket Sunday, outlasting persistent Angel “The Duck” Cabrera in web-foot conditions and darkness on the second magnificent playoff hole. He blocked out more distractions than several Masters and reality shows combined.
It wasn’t just angry final-round pin placements, a charge by Tiger Woods’ red shirt or the sight of Rickie Fowler’s orange pants. To get to Butler Cabin, Scott also had to ignore two days of penalty drama involving the best player in the world and youngest participant in Masters history. Along with actual drizzle, it was raining blonde celebrity girlfriends all week.
“I’m a proud Australian and I hope this sits really well back home,” said Scott, the first Aussie to win a Masters. “And even in New Zealand.”
It was a great singular achievement.
Couples, however, made for the ultimate Masters theme.
Fred Couples made a run at 53.
Tiger Woods and Lindsay Vonn. With the skier playfully dodging photographers.
Rory McIlroy and Caroline Wozniacki. The tennis star vowed two weeks ago at the Family Circle Cup she was going to live her life “like any other 22-year-old.” So, yeah, Caroline and Rory went out to the movies during Masters Week.
Dustin Johnson and Paulina Gretzky. The Columbia native walked away from the 18th green hand in hand with hockey “Great One” Wayne Gretzky’s model/singer daughter, but blew the lead he held for several minutes Friday.
Not D.A. Points
There was no pair like Monday practice round partners Woods and Tianlang Guan.
Who knew the overwhelming favorite and 14-year-old would get tangled in ambiguous penalty controversies involving a ball drop (Tiger) and slow play (the fast-tracking kid)?
Of all players. Not D.A. Points and John Huh, but the two guys with the largest galleries.
Guan, the envy of fellow eighth-graders in both hemispheres, finished at a remarkable 12-over par with rounds of 73-75-77-75.
Total 3-putts for the week: Zero.
Total double-bogeys (or worse) for the week: Zero.
What were you doing at 14?
“Is this the biggest accomplishment in your life?” Guan was asked Sunday.
“Yeah,” he said with a grin. “I think so.”
In the midst of it all, Bernhard Langer, age 55, called his game “very boring.” Even as he was creeping up the leaderboard, beating the likes of Bubba Watson, Phil Mickelson, Keegan Bradley and the brightly attired Mr. Fowler.
Of course, clothes make the man.
Sometimes clothes make two men with one outfit.
Johnson seemed to take offense when asked why he was dressed like Sergio Garcia, in a green and blue shirt.
“Well, we are not wearing the same outfit because we want to,” Johnson explained. “This is Adidas and they script our clothing this week. We are wearing the same outfit because they told us to.”
Yes, couples. Color-coordinated. From Madison Avenue to Augusta. Two jolly men dressed from head to toe in Australian flags followed countrymen Scott, Jason Day and Marc Leishman.
Sunday started with dry, breezy, fast conditions.
Many umbrellas later, it ended with two popular players matching clutch birdies on 18 to force a playoff.
Golf fans love Scott because he’s a nice guy with a warm accent that came out even as he screamed, “C’mon, Aussies!” on the 18th green after the first of his two mega-putts. We still feel bad about his British Open collapse last summer.
Masters patrons love Cabrera because he goes about his Augusta National business as if picking out vegetables in the Kroger grocery store down the street, one of his favorite tourist spots.
Cabrera said he was “nervous anxious” when he won the Masters in 2009 but “comfortable” this week.
At least until veteran caddy Steve Williams handed Adam Scott a long-shafted putter in the evening rain. Then the wild week came to a sudden end.
Follow Gene Sapakoff on Twitter @sapakoff