|By Andrew Gaddess, Golf Editor|
Augusta, GA (Sports Network)
Adam Scott may have ended the Australian's Masters drought with his thrilling playoff victory over Angel Cabrera, but a more notorious winless streak lives on.
Tiger Woods made a fleeting run at his fifth green jacket late Sunday with three birdies over the first six holes of his second nine, but he parred out to finish tied for fourth with Aussie Marc Leishman at 5-under-par 283.
If it weren't for the now-infamous two-stroke penalty assessed for an illegal second-round drop, the world No. 1 would have hypothetically finished in a tie for third with another Australian, Jason Day.
Regardless, Tiger's major drought continues. He hasn't won a major championship since the 2008 U.S. Open, a span of nearly five years, and he hasn't donned the green jacket since 2005.
Still, Tiger had more than Rule 26-1 working against him this weekend. A number of historical factors were at play:
* He had never won a major when trailing after 54 holes.
* No Masters champion has ever made an 8 on a hole, which Woods did on No. 15 thanks to the two-stroke penalty.
* Entering Sunday, only three times in the previous 22 years had the champion come from outside the final group. Woods started his day in the fourth-to-last pairing.
Woods has now played 15 consecutive majors without a win, the longest drought of his career. His next chance to stop the streak will be at the U.S. Open in June.
A European hasn't won the Masters since Spain's Jose Maria Olazabal in 1999. Since then, the next-best finish by a European was Englishman Lee Westwood's solo runner-up in 2010.
Twenty-eight Europeans teed it up this weekend attempting to end the 13-year drought and the closest finisher was 23-year-old Dane Thorbjorn Olesen, who tied for sixth at 4-under.
Westwood and Spain's Sergio Garcia, a first-round co-leader, tied for eighth at minus-3.
LONG LIVE THE LONG PUTTER
The long putter has come under heavy scrutiny in recent months, and Masters winner Adam Scott put the maligned club firmly in the spotlight Sunday.
Scott used his long putter to dispatch Angel Cabrera down the stretch, sinking a 22-foot birdie putt on No. 18 in regulation and then nailing a 12-foot birdie effort on the second playoff hole for his first major victory.
In November, the U.S. Golf Association and the Royal and Ancient Golf Club announced a proposed ban on the anchored putting stroke, which will go into effect in 2016 if upheld. Golf's governing bodies are expected to announce their decision this spring.
The issue has been divisive to say the least. Certain players, Tiger Woods included, have come down in favor of the ban, while the PGA Tour and PGA of America President Ted Bishop have been vocal opponents.
Since the announcement, certain anchorers, such as 2011 PGA Championship winner Keegan Bradley, have been heckled by fans for their use of the long putter, but their is no denying the club's effectiveness.
Four of the last six major winners have used a long putter: Bradley (2011 PGA Championship); Webb Simpson (2012 U.S. Open), Ernie Els (2012 British Open Championship) and now Scott at the 77th Masters.
Els' victory at the British Open was aided by Scott's poor putting, where he bogeyed the final four holes, but now the Aussie has his own major, defeating Cabrera and his traditional putter in the process.
PHIL CAN'T TAME AUGUSTA
Phil Mickelson sounded eager to get back to work and attack Augusta National after his opening-round 71. But over the next three days, Lefty's scorecard received the brunt of the punishment.
The three-time Masters champion failed to break par after Day 1, carding rounds of 76, 77 and 73 to finish tied for 54th place at 9-over.
"I just had an off year," Mickelson said. "I don't know what to tell you. I played poorly ... This is my favorite place to be, my favorite tournament, and one I look forward to the day after it ends. And to perform like this is disappointing. I'm disappointed in myself because I expect a lot more of myself, out of my game and so forth this week."
The 9-over was Mickelson's worst score at the Masters since 2007, when he shot 11-over and tied for 24th.
RORY REMAINS INCONSISTENT
Rory McIlroy has experienced an up-and-down start to 2013, and the 77th Masters was no exception.
The Northern Irishman, who has dealt with a cut, a first-round match play loss, and a withdrawal this year, turned in his best performance of the weekend on Sunday, but still finished in a tie for 25th at 2-over 290.
McIlroy, who came into the season's first major with some momentum after a runner-up result at the Texas Open, played his first two rounds at 2-under to remain in the hunt. But after moving to 3-under early in the third round, he stumbled down the stretch, carding three bogeys and a pair of doubles en route to a 7-over 77.
"My misses have been wide and that's the thing that I need to sort out," said McIlroy. "A perfect example is the 11th (Saturday). Instead of just missing it in the right rough you miss it 20 yards in the trees and you don't have any shot. If I can just sort out those misses so they're not quite as wide and they're still in play, then that's what I need to do."
McIlroy partially sorted it out Sunday with four birdies against a lone bogey for a 3-under 69, but the late surge proved little more than a moral victory for the world No. 2.
"That's what this golf course is, it's frustrating," he admitted. "I know I've played good enough golf here to win it at times, it's just a matter of stringing it all together in one week."
GUAN, 14, SECURES SILVER BOWL
Tianlang Guan, the youngest-ever Masters participant, earned the silver bowl that goes to the tournament's low amateur.
The 14-year-old phenom, who qualified for the season's first major with a win at the Asia-Pacific Amateur last year, officially wrapped up low-amateur honors when he made the cut on the line Friday.
"It's not easy to play here, to make the cut and be low amateur," he said. "I think I did a pretty good job this week and can't believe it's over."
Guan received a 1-stroke penalty for slow play during the second round and needed a par from then-leader Jason Day later Friday to make it through to the weekend. If Day had birdied the 18th, Guan would have been sent home with the five other amateurs in the field.
Instead, Guan became the youngest player in tournament history to make the cut, surpassing his first-round playing partner Matteo Manassero, who was 16 years, 11 months and 20 days old when he got through to the weekend in 2010.
Guan, who averages about 250 yards off the tee, carded a 77 on Saturday and a 75 Sunday to finish 72 holes alone in 58th place at 12-over-par 300.
The other amateurs in the field -- Steven Fox (22), T.J. Vogel (22), Nathan T. Smith (34), Michael Weaver (22) and Alan Dunbar (22) -- are a combined 52 years older than the silver bowl winner.
TENS ON 12
A septuple bogey. That's a term even the most dedicated hackers find unfamiliar.
Kevin Na, on the other hand, is no stranger to high scores.
The one-time PGA Tour winner, who infamously and unbelievably posted a 16 on the ninth hole at the 2011 Texas Open, dropped three shots into Rae's Creek on the par-3 12th at Augusta National en route to a septuple-bogey 10.
But he wasn't the only one.
2012 champion Bubba Watson also carded a 10 on the hole. All three of Na's splashes were from the tee box, but Watson took a drop after his first shot found the drink. Still, the left-hander couldn't avoid Rae's Creek with his third, and his fifth landed in a bunker before his pitch rolled through the green and into the water. He played out from the sand with his eighth and then got up-and-down for the septuple.
Surprisingly, 10 isn't the highest score at Augusta's par-3 12th. That distinction belongs to Tom Weiskopf, who carded a 13 on the hole during the first round of the 1980 Masters.
* Scott was making his 48th major championship appearance and 12th at the Masters.
* Scott is the first Australian major champion since Geoff Ogilvy, who won the 2006 US Open.
* The average age of winners at the Masters is 32, which happens to be Scott's age.
* This is the third straight year that the Masters victor was a first-time major winner, following Charl Schwartzel (2011) and Bubba Watson (2012).
* The hardest hole of the final round was the par-3 fourth, as it played at an average of 3.49 strokes. It was also the hardest hole overall, playing to an average of 3.39 strokes.
* The easiest hole of the final round was the par-5 15th, which played to an average of 4.43 strokes. It was also the easiest hole overall, playing to an average of 4.64 strokes.