Adam Scott hits from a bunker on the 17th hole during his final round at Augusta National. (AP: Charlie Riedel)
Adam Scott believes he has taken enough positives from finishing inside the top 10 at the Masters to feel he will be a contender in the remaining three majors this year.
Scott, the 2013 Masters champion, is hungry to bag his second career major in 2017 after a disappointing final round at Augusta National on Monday (AEST).
The 36-year-old’s lacklustre final round of 1-over-par 73 left him tied for ninth at 2-under and seven shots back of the 72-hole totals set by winner Sergio Garcia and runner-up Justin Rose.
Garcia and Rose carded 69s and finished regulation play tied at 9-under, three shots clear of third-place Charl Schwartzel, before the Spaniard snared his first major on the opening extra hole with a birdie.
“I was looking for something special today and [my game] wasn’t even close in all areas. At times I was in position to take advantage and I didn’t,” said Scott, who started the day three shots off the lead.
In his 74th major championship appearance, Garcia ended the second-longest active winless streak in majors history, with only Lee Westwood’s 76 attempts a bigger drought.
Masters champion Sergio Garcia celebrates an eagle putt on the 15th hole. (Reuters: Lucy Nicholson)
Scott, who won the Masters green jacket in his 48th major appearance, says Garcia’s breakthrough is one of the most deserved he has seen since Phil Mickelson won the 2004 Masters.
“There’s just no script, it’s different for everyone,” Scott said.
“Sergio’s moment is very deserving. I’m thrilled [for him].
“It’s almost a more well-earned major than Phil Mickelson’s first, which was quite a lot longer than anyone would have imagined for him.”
World number nine Scott, who has struggled with his swing in 2017, will take a lot from a stellar ball-striking performance that saw him finish in the top four at the Masters for greens in regulation.
“It’s definitely back to where I want it to be, I gave myself so many chances, so I’ve got to take the positive away from that,” Scott said.
Day motivated to return to winning ways
After an emotionally turbulent start to the year, Scott’s fellow Australian Jason Day is desperate to get back to winning form.
The 29-year-old finished the Masters on a high with a 1-under 71 but never truly threatened the leaderboard at Augusta National to finish the week at 2-over.
The former world number one preparation was blighted by the emotional stress of mother Dening undergoing surgery, last month, to remove a tumour in her left lung.
Buoyed by the news his mother will not require chemotherapy, Day says he will now begin the grind back to the top.
“You can’t control distractions like with my mum. We tried to handle that the best we can,” Day said.
“It’s [now] up to me to do the work to get back to that winning form.
“From there, it’s all about the want and desire to win because there’s no amount of work I can do if I don’t want it enough then.
“I just need to take baby steps to get back on top.”
After coming in to the Masters as the in-form Australian, Marc Leishman finished in a disappointing 43rd place at 8-over, but did card an encouraging 71 in the final round.
Curtis Luck rounded out the Australian contingent on the weekend, finishing in a tie for 46th at 9-over.