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Golf Australia Express : April 2013-The Masters
WHILETHEAugusta National greens have been watered by oceans of Australian sweat, our shores have yet to witness a green jacket enter through customs. It’s not just us, though. It wasn’t until 1961, when South African Gary Player won for the first time, that anyone managed to take a coat out of the US. Since then it has only been won by an international player another 18 times. Of course, back in 1996 Greg Norman looked like a sure thing to become the first Australian to don the green jacket. His first round famously equalled Nick Price’s 1986 tournament course record of 63 before the final round saw him infamously blow a six-shot lead to hand Nick Faldo a gift. It was official-—Aussies were cursed at Augusta. Want more proof? In 2011 Adam Scott and Jason Day were neck and neck at 12-under, with Geoff Ogilvy only two shots behind. The green jacket seemed ready for a bit of green-and-gold ownership, but South Africa (who else!) via Charl Schwartzel ruined the party with consecutive birdies on the final four holes to take the title. Again we seemed destined, and again we came home empty-handed. A quick flick through past winners shows the Americans are used to keeping the title on home soil. It is, after all, played at a US stronghold so it’s probably fair to expect the Americans be strongly represented in the field. This year (so far) 41 US players have received an Augustan invitation. So, too, have four Australians... While the Augusta National greens have been watered by oceans of Australian sweat, our shores have yet to witness a green jacket enter through customs. While the Augusta National greens have been watered by oceans of Australian sweat, our shores have yet to witness a green jacket enter through customs. MASTERS MASTERS YOU WOULD HAVE THOUGHT GOLF’S DARK GREEN JACKET WOULD FIT COMFORTABLY INTO THE AUSTRALIAN SPORTING WARDROBE. BUT LOOKS ARE SO OFTEN DECEPTIVE, WRITES WILL HONE.