Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Scott Salutes Inspirational Norman after Historic Victory

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Scott Salutes Inspirational Norman after Historic Victory

Article excerpt

Byline: Kevin Garside

ADAM SCOTT dedicated his dramatic victory at the Masters to mentor Greg Norman. In a moving speech after his play-off victory against Angel Cabrera to become Australia's first Masters champion, Scott paid tribute to the influence of Norman.

"He inspired a nation of golfers, anyone near to my age, older and younger," said Scott, 32. "He was the best player in the world and he was an icon in Australia. Everything about the way he handled himself was incredible. Just that was enough but he devoted so much time to myself and other young Australian players who came after him.

"He was incredibly generous. Most of us would feel that he could have slipped a Green Jacket on, for sure, and I said part of this is for him because he has given me so much time and inspiration and belief.

"I drew on that a lot. Hopefully at some point I'll get to sit down with Greg and have a chat and go through it all. I'm sure he's really happy. A phone conversation isn't going to do it for us. We are really close and I'd love to share a beer with him over this one."

Norman famously blew a six-shot lead on the last day of the 1996 Masters, surrendering victory to Sir Nick Faldo. Scott endured a similar experience at The Open at Royal Lytham last year, conceding a four-shot lead to Ernie Els with four holes to play. Scott believes that experience helped him overcome the incredible challenge made by Cabrera, who came into the event ranked 269 in the world.

"Everything I said after The Open is how I felt, and I meant it. It did give me more belief that I could win a major. It proved to me, in fact, that I could."

Scott's victory using a broom-handle putter completed the clean sweep of major championships with anchored putting devices. Scott does not believe the result will have any impact on the imminent ruling by the Royal and Ancient Golf Club on the legality of anchored putters after a consultation period that ended in February. The R&A are expected to announce in May a ban that will come into force in 2016.

Scott said: "We are all waiting to hear what's going to happen. I don't know that this is going to impact any decisions at all. You know my feeling on it all; that it was inevitable that big tournaments would be won with this equipment because these are the best players in the world and they practise thousands of hours. They are going to get good with whatever they are using. It's inevitable."

A final day that was slow to ignite caught fire over the closing holes. After a bogey at the first, Scott finally found some momentum on the back nine with birdies at the par-5s to gain a share of the lead on eight under par with three to play. Cabrera joined him at eight under with a birdie at the 16th.

Jason Day, who had been leading on nine under par, dropped back with bogeys at 16 and 17, leaving Scott and Cabrera to slug it out on the last. …

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