Australia has toasted Adam Scott’s breakthrough triumph in the Masters, claiming it as an historic moment for the nation while Greg Norman said there were more to come.
Scott, 32, beat Argentina’s Angel Cabrera at the second playoff hole to become the first Australian to win the Masters at Georgia’s Augusta National.
Norman, who endured Masters heartbreak with three runner-up finishes at Augusta in the 1980-90s and whose influence was hailed by Scott after his triumph, led the tributes and said his victory will help him win more majors.
“I have been a huge believer in Adam and I am so proud of him, as is the rest of Australia,” Norman said on his Facebook page.
“Adam is a great player and I’m confident this victory will catapult him to win more majors. It will not surprise me if he wins more major championships than any other Australian golfer in history.”
Scott for his part said he plans to celebrate with Norman after breaking his major duck, and that of his nation, in near-darkness at Augusta.
“A phone conversation’s not going to do it, we’re very close,” said Scott, who said he planned to have a drink with his compatriot and “talk through it all.”
Prime Minister Julia Gillard also paid tribute to Scott and said “by any measure it is an historical day for Australian sport”.
“Adam Scott’s triumph at Augusta immediately joins the ranks of the truly great Australian sporting moments,” she said in a statement.
Nine months after making bogeys on the last four holes to squander a British Open lead at Royal Lytham and two years after sharing second at the Masters, Scott won his first major title in commanding fashion.
Australians gathered around television sets across the country urging on Scott who ended a jinx that saw Australians eight times finish runner-up at the Masters.
Sports Minister Kate Lundy called it “fantastic news for not only Adam, but all those who played on Augusta before him and for all those young Australians who will follow in his path”.
“With golf now an Olympic sport for the 2016 Rio Games, today’s victory will no doubt help to inspire the next generation of Australian golfers,” she said.
Steve Elkington, who was the Australian winner of the 1995 US PGA Championship was also ecstatic, tweeting: “Waltzing Matilda … Waltzing Matilda ..you’ll go a Waltzing Matilda with me…”