AUGUSTA, Ga. -- So many of his countrymen came before him, and all of them came up short. He even felt the pain of coming so close at Augusta National Golf Club.
Adam Scott, however, ended Australia's Masters drought with a pair of heart-stopping birdie putts -- the second in a playoff to beat Angel Cabrera -- to become the first Aussie to slip on the green jacket.
Scott shot a 3-under 69 in a bogey-free final round and finished at 9-under 279 on a rainy Sunday.
"Australia is a proud sporting nation, and this is one notch in the belt that we never had," Scott said.
For much of Sunday, the green jacket seemed destined to rest on the shoulders of an Aussie. Scott, Marc Leishman and Jason Day were all among the leaders throughout the final round, but Scott jumped ahead as the Aussie pace car with a birdie on the par-5 15th.
He went to the final hole tied for the lead, but he reigned atop the leader board facing the 18th green after a 25-foot birdie putt.
Scott unleashed a furious celebration, complete with screams, fist pumps and a high-five with caddie Steve Williams, who was on the bag for three of Tiger Woods' four Masters victories.
"I was pumped," Scott said. "It was a huge moment."
Cabrera watched 170 yards away from the 18th fairway as Scott drained his putt, but the 2009 Masters champion was unflappable. Playing in the final group, Cabrera stuck his approach to 3 feet and holed the birdie putt for a 70 to force extra holes.
Cabrera, who beat Kenny Perry and Chad Campbell in a playoff to win his green jacket, almost ended the tournament when his chip on the first playoff hole -- No. 18 -- trickled within 6 inches of going in the hole.
"His chip on the first playoff hole was just beautiful and unlucky not to go in," Scott said. "That must have gone right over the edge of that hole. My heart was about to stop as I was standing at the side of the green thinking, 'Is this it, really?' "
After both players settled on pars, they headed to No. 10, where Bubba Watson won last year's Masters on a miraculous hook shot from the woods.
Both players found the fairway and then the green in regulation before Cabrera missed his birdie putt again by mere inches.
"Golf gives and takes," Cabrera said. "Sometimes you make those putts; sometimes you just miss them. But that's golf."
Scott didn't miss his chance. With rain pelting the players and darkness closing in, Scott asked Williams to help read the putt, which Scott holed from 15 feet.
"I don't get him to read too many putts," Scott said. "He said it's at least two cups, it's going to break more than you think. I said, 'I'm good with that.' He was my eyes on that putt."
Scott's putt softened the disappointing memories of Australian golfers at the hands of Augusta National.
Greg Norman self-destructed at the Masters twice. Scott and Day were in the mix on Sunday at the 2011 Masters, only to have Charl Schwartzel roll from behind with birdies on the final four holes to win.
Scott's win also erased the memories of his own collapse less than a year ago at Royal Lytham & St. Annes during the British Open. He shot a 75 on Sunday and lost a four-stroke lead to Ernie Els. Scott missed a putt inside 10 feet on the final hole that would've forced a playoff that Sunday.
"It did give me more belief that I could win a major," Scott said. "It proved to me, in fact, that I could."
Cabrera looked to have one arm in the green jacket heading to the back nine, but he bogeyed the 10th and couldn't escape Amen Corner unscathed when he hit a shot in the water on par-5 13th for a second bogey.
Day seemingly became the beneficiary, charging into the lead with three straight birdies starting on No. 13. But he bogeyed No. 16 and followed that with another on the 17th. He finished two shots out of the playoff.
"Obviously, the pressure got to me a little bit," Day said.
Scott made birdies Nos. 13 and 15 to move into the lead before he drained his birdie putt on the par-4 18th to get to 9 under.
Cabrera got back into the mix with a long birdie putt on No. 16 before forcing the playoff with the birdie on the 72nd hole.
"The back nine here solves a lot and gives you a chance," Scott said.
The Leader board
(With final round score and total score)
Adam Scott 69--279 -9
(won playoff on second hole)
Angel Cabrera 70--279 -9
Jason Day 70--281 -7
Tiger Woods 70--283 -5
Brandt Snedeker 75--284 -4
Sergio Garcia 70--285 -3
Ernie Els 69--287 -1
Dustin Johnson 70--287 -1
Luke Donald 72--290 +2
Rory McIlroy 69--290 +2
Bubba Watson 77--295 +7
Phil Mickelson 73--297 +9
a-Guan Tianlang 75--300 +12
5 Australian players who have finished second at the Masters (Jim Ferrier, 1952; Bruce Crampton, 1972; Greg Norman 1986, 1987, 1996; Scott, 2011, Day, 2011)
"Australia is a proud sporting nation, and this is one notch in the belt we never got."
Held lead until hitting into the water on the 13th. Birdied 16 to tie for the lead and forced the playoff with a birdie on the 18th.
Held a two-shot lead but made bogeys at the 16th and 17th holes and finished third.