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Golf: Australia savours 'historic day' after Scott triumph

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Sports-mad Australia on Monday celebrated Adam Scott's breakthrough triumph in the Masters, claiming it as an historic moment for the nation and Greg Norman said there were more to come.

Scott, 32, beat Angel Cabrera of Argentina 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 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."

Prime Minister Julia Gillard 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.

"Since its inception in 1934, no Australian has had the honour of putting on the Green Jacket - that changes today.

"With this outstanding achievement, Adam Scott has done his country proud."

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 impressive 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.

"All Australians will be celebrating with Adam today, from those watching in golf clubs to those of us at work. Today is a great day for Australian Sport and for golf."

Australian Geoff Ogilvy, who won the 2006 US Open, simply tweeted: "Yes!!! I reckon it's time for a beer."

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..."

Leading golf journalist Martin Blake called Scott's winning putt one of the standout moments in Australian sport.

"Adam Scott goes into the pantheon of Australian sporting greats, right up with (Rod) Laver, (Dawn) Fraser, (Donald) Bradman. (Masters) Hoodoo broken," he tweeted.

Australians had won all the other majors, but Augusta continued to elude the nation's golfers until Scott's breakthrough and figures from other sports also joined the praise.

Former Olympic marathon runner Robert de Castella paid tribute to three-time Masters runner-up Greg Norman in saluting Scott.

"Greg Norman has always been my golf hero and now Adam Scott has done what the Shark almost did! Awesome, bloody awesome," he tweeted, while former world snooker champion Neil Robertson also offered congratulations.

"Well done Adam Scott!!! Great nerve at the end. That will put what happened at The Open behind him," he said on Twitter.

Australian football captain Lucas Neill joined in with the congratulations and said: "Amazing viewing at Augusta. Adam Scott has given us a great Aussie sporting moment. Congratulations, you are a legend!"

rsm/mp/ia

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130415/golf-australia-savours-historic-day-after-scott-triumph