April 17 2013
Champions Tour rookie Steve Elkington, like many Australians, sweated out Adam Scott's win.
(Chris Condon/PGA TOUR)
By Mark Williams, Champions Tour staff
Champions Tour rookie Steve Elkington broke out one Australian icon to celebrate another following Adam Scott’s playoff victory over Argentina's Angel Cabrera at the Masters Tournament. Scott became the first Australian to win at Augusta National, which will surely elevate him to iconic status in his native land. After all, it’s not often the conclusion of a sporting event stops an entire nation, including its leader, Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
“I opened a bottle of 1986 Grange Hermitage, one of the best bottles of all time,” said Elkington, himself a major champion at the 1995 PGA Championship. “I’d been saving it up for a special occasion.”
Asked if he shared it with anyone, Elkington said, “No. Just me, with a big steak. It’s a big shiraz red, one of the most famous bottles from Australia. Very sought after. It would be one of the great wines of the world.”
However, the result was in doubt until the playoff ended and it had Elkington on the edge of his seat before he could open the wine and savor it.
“Cabrera’s shot on 18, that to me was one of the greatest shots I’ve ever seen, and all of a sudden it looked like we (Australian’s) might not have the Masters,” Elkington said. “That drama, and Jim Nantz making it clear on the CBS coverage how strongly Australian’s thought about the elusive victory at Augusta National, and Adam referring to Greg (Norman) as a pioneer – it was all great.”
“I’ve known Adam for a long time and I didn’t think he would be able to come back from last year to be honest,” added Elkington, referring to Scott’s meltdown over the final four holes to lose the 2012 British Open to Ernie Els. “They say the average age of major winner is 32. Adam is 32. I was 32 when I won my major.”
According to Elkington the final piece of a giant jigsaw puzzle is now complete.
“An Australian hadn’t won the Masters, it was the only major missing for us, but Adam’s win almost completes a bigger ‘Slam.' Australians have won almost every event on almost every Tour – the World Cup, World Amateur Championship, the LPGA majors. It’s an incredible achievement for a small country.”
Elkington called his parents who live on the Gold Coast in Australia, not far from where Scott hails, to celebrate over the phone, but his Dad had already headed down to the local golf club to celebrate with friends, something most of Australia’s 22 million inhabitants likely did as well.