Adam Scott relied on his long putter to win the Masters, his first major victory. (Ehrmann/Getty Images)
By Travis Fulton, Director of Instruction, PGA TOUR Academy
First off, let me congratulate Adam Scott for his win at the Masters. I’m sure many of you share the same thoughts and feelings after watching Scott lose the Open Championship with such heartbreak last summer.
It was a great Masters in so many ways. Even if Angel Cabrera would have prevailed and won his second Green Jacket, it still would’ve been a great tournament. But it felt more special with Scott winning. The reality is Scott deserved this major championship, not just because of what happened last year, but because the Aussie has done all of the things necessary to claim a major.
One of the areas that needed to improve was Scott’s putting, and the extended putter has completely changed his game. At first, I found myself chuckling a bit about Scott with the long putter. Here you have this young, fit, good-looking Australian using this putter that was primarily only seen on the Champions Tour. Well, after watching the last two putts fall on Sunday at Augusta National, things don’t look that weird anymore.
One of the biggest things the long putter can offer a golfer is less face rotation during the stroke. With the putter shaft closer to vertical (90 degrees), the putter face will open less during the backstroke and close less through impact. This is significant. In order to be a great putter you must be able to return the putter face to a square position so the ball will start on the intended target line. For those who struggle with too much face rotation, the long putter is certainly an option.
Since changing to the long putter, Scott has seemed to hit his intended target line more often. As a result, he has been able to focus on the speed of the putt and become much more instinctive. After all, this instinctive environment is what we all want on the greens. Sometimes completely changing your putting style is needed.
I applaud Scott for doing the things needed to get his game to the highest level.
Travis Fulton is the Director of Instruction at the TOUR Academies at TPC Sawgrass and the World Golf Village. For more information on the TOUR Academy, click here.
What will you remember most about the 2013 Masters? Join our PGA TOUR Insiders today at 2 p.m. ET for a Google+ Hangout to recap the week and look ahead to the RBC Heritage.
Leave your questions and comments about the week below and we'll share the best ones during today's Hangout, which you can watch here on the TOUR Report or on the PGA TOUR's Google+ page. You can also tweet along with the Hangout using the hashtag #PGATOURchat.
Scott focused on one shot at a time during his Masters win. (Redington/Getty Images)
By Dr. Gregg Steinberg, Special to PGATOUR.COM
Golf places you on an emotional roller coaster. When you play extremely well, feelings of euphoria can ooze from your smile. On the other hand, poor play can instantaneously change you into a disgruntled golfer who believes all the bad breaks have gone your way.
Your best golf is played between the extremes of emotional intensity. While most articles on the mental game focus on reducing anxiety and curtailing your anger, getting too pumped up can also be disadvantageous to your game. Luckily for Adam Scott, the 2013 Masters champion, he was able to keep his intensity level under control.
After Scott made that marvelous putt on the 72nd hole for birdie, he became enormously jubilant, clenching his entire body with joy and then, he gave his caddie a power high-five. Scott believed he had just won the tournament, but it only lasted for a few moments, as he then saw Angel Cabrera make an amazing birdie to tie him at 9-under par.
At that moment, Scott knew had to get his intensity level back to normal so he could control his swing. If not, his adrenaline could act as a powerful stimulant and throw his swing out of sequence, as well as cause him to hit his irons much farther than usual (which can lead to devastating results at Augusta National).
As the golfing world saw on Sunday, Scott got cool, calm and collected for the playoff and went on to win his first green jacket.
While I know it is fun to make that Tiger fist pump when you make a birdie or long par putt, allowing yourself to get too pumped up can seriously deflate your golf scores. Your game is susceptible to the emotional highs the links may bring. Here are a couple suggestions to remain in control of your emotions like Masters champion Adam Scott:
1) Emotional awareness is the first step to emotional control. If you just made three birdies in a row, you might have immense adrenaline flowing throughout your body. If you feel your heart rate racing, you will need to calm down. Take some deep breaths. Also slow your pace down one notch to counterbalance your excitement.
2) Be wrapped up into the moment like Adam Scott. The 2013 Masters champion mentioned that he was not worrying about being the first Aussie to win the Green Jacket, only focusing on the current shot at hand. When you are caught up in your score, your emotions will follow. When you are thinking about the present shot, your emotions will stay in control.
Golf is a game of emotional control. The better you master this skill, the more in control you will have over your scores.
Dr. Gregg Steinberg is a regular guest every Tuesday on “Talk of the Tour” heard on the Sirius/XM PGA TOUR radio. He is a tenured professor of sports psychology and has been the mental game coach for many PGA TOUR players. Dr. Gregg is the author of the best selling golf psychology book, MentalRules for Golf, and you can get your autographed copy at www.drgreggsteinberg.com.
Former and current players took to their Twitter accounts to congratulate Adam Scott on his Masters victory …
Greg Norman (@SharkGregNorman): What happened today I observed in the eyes of Adam when he was 15. He deserves everything he gets from this win. Proud of him & #australia.
Ian Baker-Finch (@IBFinchy): Congratulations Adam Scott on your sensational victory #TheMasters You thoroughly deserve the honour of being 1st Australian #greenjacket
Keegan Bradley (@Keegan_Bradley): Congrats to Adam Scott. That was amazing playing. #clutch
Geoff Ogilvy (@geoffogilvy): I reckon it's time for a beer #aussiepride #Masters
John Senden (@JohnSendenGolf): Congrats Adam Scott on a fabulous win @The_Masters . You deserve it mate!! Go the Aussies .
Trevor Immelman (@TrevorImmelman): Really happy for Scotty, one of my longest standing friends on tour. A true champion and gentleman.... One for our generation :)
Brandt Snedeker (@BrandtSnedeker): Humbled by all the support I received this week.. My time will come.. Congrats to a worthy champ.. Adam deserved today..
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- A playoff in the first major championship of the year yielded big numbers for CBS.
Adam Scott's victory over Angel Cabrera helped provide a 26 percent boost in overnight ratings for the Masters on CBS.
The final round Sunday went two extra holes before Scott made a birdie to beat Cabrera for his first major title.
According to Nielsen on Monday, the round drew an average household rating/share of 10.2/21, up 26 percent from last year's 8.1/19. Sunday's round peaked with a 13.4/25 from 7 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. EDT.
The third round also scored higher ratings, up 24 percent, and peaked with a 7.2/17 from 5:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. ET.
Ratings represent the percentage of all homes with televisions tuned to a program. Shares represent the percentage of all homes with TVs in use at the time. Overnight ratings measure the country's largest markets.
Adam Scott finished first in greens in regulation, hitting 55 of 72 greens. (Redington/Getty Images)
||Winner: Adam Scott
|Driving Distance||293.8 (18th)||Robert Garrigus (304.4 yards)||T38|
|Driving Accuracy||57.14% (T49)||Tim Clark (83.93%)||T11|
|Greens in Regulation||76.39% (1st)||Scott||Won
|Proximity to Hole||N/A
|Scrambling||70.59% (3rd)||Lee Westwood (76.67%)||T8|
WEEKLY PERFORMANCE STATS ARCHIVE
Week 2: Sony Open in Hawaii
Week 4: Farmers Insurance Open
Week 5: Waste Management Phoenix Open
Week 7: Northern Trust Open
Week 8: The Honda Classic
Week 9: WGC Cadillac & Puerto Rico Open
Week 12: Shell Houston Open
Week 13: Valero Texas Open
Adam Scott celebrates after his winning birdie putt to beat Angel Cabrera to win the Masters. (Redington/Getty Images)
By PGATOUR.COM staff
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Adam Scott beat Angel Cabrera with a birdie putt on the second playoff hole to win the Masters. In the process, he becomes the first Australian to win the Green Jacket.
"It's incredible to be in this position," Scott said during the post-round ceremony in Butler Cabin.
As last year's champion, Bubba Watson, slipped the Green Jacket on Scott, the Aussie replied in native fashion.
"Thanks, mate," he said.
Scott rolled in his 12-foot birdie putt on the par-4 10th after Cabrera just missed his birdie putt from 15 feet. It was the second long birdie putt Scott made in his last three holes of the day.
"To make a couple of putts to win the Masters tournament is just an amazing feeling," Scott said.
For the 32-year-old Scott, it's the long-awaited first major of his career. He had come close last year at the British Open, leading by four shots before bogeying his last four holes to lose to Ernie Els. And two years ago, he finished tied for second with fellow Aussie Jason Day.
The win moves Scott to fourth in FedExCup points and third in the Official World Golf Ranking.
Both players parred the first playoff hole, the par-4 18th, each chipping from off the green to set up short putts.
On the second playoff hole, each player found the fairway with their tee shots and the putting surface with their approaches.
On the 72nd hole of regulation, Scott and Cabrera produced dramatic shots to reach the playoff.
Scott rolled in a 20-foot birdie putt to move to 9 under. At the time, it appeared that might be the shot to win the Masters.
After Scott's putt dropped, he yelled out, "C'mon Aussies" before celebrating with caddie Steve Williams.
"For a split second, I thought I won," Scott said.
But Cabrera, waiting in the fairway in the final group, followed with the best approach shot of the day at the 18th hole, his ball rolling inside 3 feet to set up the birdie that also put him at 9 under.
Scott shot a final-round 3-under 69 while Cabera shot a 2-under 70.
Cabrera, from Argentina, was seeking his second Masters win and third major of his career. Cabrera won the 2009 Masters in a three-man playoff against Kenny Perry and Chad Campbell. Cabrera beat Perry on the second playoff hole.
It's the second consecutive year for a playoff at the Masters. Last year, Bubba Watson beat Louis Oosthuizen thanks to a dramatic shot out of the trees on the second playoff hole.
The two players finished two strokes ahead of Australian Jason Day, who held the solo lead at 9 under through his 15th hole before suffering consecutive bogeys to drop back.
Tied for fourth was another Australian, Marc Leishman, along with Tiger Woods, who shot a final-round 70. Both players finished at 5 under.
By: Fred Albers, PGA TOUR.COM Correspondent
In 2010, I watched Adam Scott struggle with his putting at the Shell Houston Open. He was so frustrated; at one point he putted while looking at the cup rather than the ball. Players use that technique as a drill during practice but rarely during tournament play. Scott finished 186th on TOUR in strokes gained-putting that year. A switch to the long putter revived his career and produced gradual improvement. Scott finished 143rd in strokes gained-putting in 2011, 145th in 2012 and is ranked 78th this season. His birdies on the 72nd hole and in the playoff are two of the great putts this year. Cheers, mate.
Thumbs up: Golf brings out sportsmanship you rarely see in other venues. In the heat of the playoff, Angel Cabrera applauded Adam Scott’s approach into the 10th green, with the Aussie then returning the thumbs-up gesture. In a day filled with great moments, that split- second of sportsmanship ranks with the best.
Happy feet: If you want a quick indicator as to the quality of Angel Cabrera’s shot, watch his feet. He struggles with his balance at times, shifting his feet as if performing an Argentine tango. When Cabrera remains grounded, his balance is good and he hits quality golf shots. He struggled with balance in Sunday’s final round but recovered, starting on the 16th tee. His balance was perfect on the approach into the 18th green, leading to birdie and the playoff.
Unlucky: Tiger Woods came into the Masters as the prohibitive favorite. A combination of bad luck and bad putting had him finishing fourth. Woods’ wedge into the 15th hole Friday might have been the tipping point. Woods was too accurate. The ball hit the flagstick and kicked into a water hazard. A quarter of an inch, either left or right, and Woods probably makes birdie instead of triple. That’s a four-shot swing. The subsequent ruling over an illegal drop affected Woods’ play on Saturday and he left too many makeable putts short in the final round. That wedge on Friday was terribly unlucky for Woods but golf repeatedly teaches us, it is not a fair game.
Green speed: Putts were consistently left short on Sunday. Some rain affected the speed but greens were not exceedingly fast for any round. There is so much undulation in Augusta National’s greens that downhill putts are very quick, but putts from level lies are not faster than any other week on the PGA TOUR. The putting surface also remained receptive to iron shots throughout the tournament. When the greens were comprised of bermuda, they were crunchy hard but when the tournament switched to bent grass years ago, the putting surfaces softened.
Sand man: Jason Day is ranked seventh on TOUR in sand saves this year. He gets up and down 66 percent of the time. Day demonstrated that touch when he holed out for eagle from the greenside bunker at the second. On the 13th hole, his bunker shot cozied up to within a couple feet, leading to a birdie. Day was 4-for-6 in sand saves for the week and 3-for-4 in the final round but rolled the dice one too many times when he was bunkered at the 17th hole and did not get up and down.
Preparation: A change in the PGA TOUR schedule dramatically affected players’ preparation for this year’s Masters. The Valero Texas Open immediately preceded this year’s tournament, instead of the Shell Houston Open. Players liked the Redstone Golf Club in Humble, Texas because it mimicked Augusta National’s greens and fairways. TPC San Antonio is a completely different course, playing in high winds with tight driving fairways. Phil Mickelson looked out of sorts all week and said he missed his usual tune-up in Houston. Rory McIlroy finished second at the Valero Texas Open but did not bring the same game to Augusta. The 2014 Shell Houston Open is expected to return to its normal slot in the TOUR schedule, immediately preceding the Masters.
Tough start: Alister MacKenzie liked his golf courses to begin with a gentle warm up, usually a short par four that allowed a player to ease his way into a round. You wonder if the Scotsman would recognize the first hole at Augusta National. “Tea Olive” has been lengthened to 445 yards and players averaged 4.292 strokes, making it the second hardest hole on the course. The opening hole gave up 25 birdies and 94 bogeys, plus nine double bogeys and one “other” this week.
The par-3, fourth hole was the hardest on the course. At 240 yards, it gave up just ten birdies this week with 103 bogeys, ten doubles and two “others,” playing to a stroke average of 3.389. When you have the same number of birdies as you do double bogeys, you have a tough golf hole
Pace of play: Masters Sunday is always a long day. The final tee time was 2:40. That’s a long wait for a pair of players like Brandt Snedeker and Angel Cabrera. Both of them are high energy, quick tempo golfers. They are among the faster players on TOUR in pace of play. When you have two fast players paired together, it means long waits on the tee and fairway. You wonder if Brandt Snedeker became anxious from the waiting before and during in his final round.
Fred Albers is a course reporter for SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio. For more information on SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio, click here.
Adam Scott birdied the second playoff hole to best Angel Cabrera to win the Masters on Sunday, becoming the first Australian to win the Green Jacket.
Want to congratulate Scott? Leave a note in the comments section below and we'll deliver it to him.