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Scott insists Open heartbreak never affected him

ESPN staff
April 15, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Adam Scott screamed "Come on Aussie!" when his putt at the 18th found the hole © Getty Images
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Adam Scott was elated to put to rest memories of his failure to win the Open Championship, as he claimed the maiden major victory of his career at the Masters on Sunday.

Scott birdied the 18th at Augusta National to reach a play-off for the green jacket alongside former champion Angel Cabrera, and then birdied the tenth - the second hole of the sudden death hole - to become the first Australian ever to win the tournament.

Six months earlier the emotions had been completely different for the 32-year-old, as bogeyed the final four holes in succession at Royal Lytham to lose the Claret Jug by a single shot.

Speaking on Sunday, Scott said that the difficult experience at the Open, far from discouraging him, actually gave him the belief that he would go on and win a major.

"I played 14 really good holes last time, but I played maybe 20 good ones today," Scott said. "It did give me more belief that I could win a major. It proved to me, in fact, that I could.

"Going to the playoff was a special feeling. I think going down the 10th fairway was almost deafening, and the crowd wasn't close. It was a great feeling, and again, I felt like they were really, really pulling for me out there. That is a nice feeling to have when you're trying to hit some shots at that point."

In the aftermath of the win the Australian paid tribute to Greg Norman, his idol, for inspiring him - but he subsequently revealed that it was a New Zealander, his caddie Steve Williams, who gave him the read for the winning putt.

"I could hardly see the green in the darkness," Scott said. "No, really, I was struggling to read it, so I gave Steve the call over. I don't get him to read too many putts, because I felt like I was reading good. I said, "Do you think it's just more than a cup?"

"He said, 'It's at least two cups, it's going to break more than you think.'

"I said, 'I'm good with that.' He was my eyes on that putt. I started on line and managed to hang in and go in the left half. An amazing feeling."

Scott paid particular tribute to Norman and his father after the victory. Norman missed out on a green jacket in agonising circumstances on more than one occasion during his career.

Scott's dad, Phil, was on hand on Sunday to see his son achieve something that Norman never quite managed.

"It's a moment that I'll never forget, being able to hug him just down the back of the 10th green there," Scott said of his father. "He was the biggest influence on me. He was a great role model for me as a kid, as I think back on it, and the way he balanced everything for me so that I just kind of made my own way a golfer.

"Really he did an incredible job of just letting me be who I am and letting my game develop and not standing in my way at times and pushing me when I needed to be pushed.

"He was at the Open last year and he was as positive as anyone. I'm sure he was gutted inside, but nice that I was able to kind of reward him with this one today while he was here, because he only comes to those two events."

On talking to Norman, Scott added: "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."

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