Can the Aussies break their duck?

Last updated 10:24 11/04/2011

I grew up watching Greg Norman and once upon a time I might have been his biggest fan going round. So waking up on Monday morning in '96 to watch him choke at the Masters was one of those devastating moments in my sport-watching life.Jason Day

There may have been tears. As we all know, it wasn't the only time the shark butchered his chances to win at Augusta National and over his career he's made the top five eight times without ever being sized up for a green jacket.

Remarkably, despite the fact we're into the 75th year of the Masters, no-one from either New Zealand or Australia has ever won. 

Today there are two Australian blokes in contention. Jason Day and Adam Scott are about to tee off and they have a nation willing them on to break the Aussie voodoo with this famous tournament.   

Jason Day has been phenomenal this week. He hits the ball frighteningly well and despite his size has been the second longest guy this week. For him, 340 yard drives are normal. And for Adam Scott, the ungainly broomstick putter has clearly done something for his game this week. Today in Augusta, these boys are right under the spotlight of the world of golf. Their swings are being analysed, their temperaments questioned. 

These two Aussie boys will be well aware that back home is a frustrated nation of golfers crawling out of bed and yelling at their tv screens hoping that this will be the day that the ghost of Norman can be put to rest once and for all. 

Here at Masters HQ, I am surrounded by a pack of 'Ockers about to head to the course and the adrenaline is starting to flow. Their story is an interesting one, and today could be their day.

The guys here at Elite Sporting Tours started their annual pilgrimage to Augusta because they honestly believed that, had they been on the course in '96, Norman would have held it together and won.

They reasoned that the shark never got the luck of the locals. He never got a good break when he hit it in the crowd. They needed to balance up the odds and be there to cheer him on. So after another agonizing Monday morning in '97 the patriarchal leader of Elite made a pact with his mate at work - they'd be there next year to get Greg over the line. 

For 11 years now the boys have been coming to Augusta and have been bringing groups of Australians along for the ride. Greg's star has faded, but now with a host of young stars from down under the hopes are always high.

This afternoon there is a glimmer of hope - a couple of early birdies - and a slip up from the young Irishman and it could be game on. The atmosphere is at fever pitch and I wonder if the Aussies can break the duck. Can they do it?

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corky   #1   12:58 pm Apr 11 2011


johnny utah   #2   01:50 pm Apr 11 2011

no. not this year. and it's not remarkable that no one from nz has ever won it. it's remarkable you find it remarkable.

mcgarry   #3   11:46 pm Apr 12 2011

How hot is Jason Day's missus Goldstein.

alanH   #4   02:11 pm Apr 14 2011

Interesting guessing game for the last morning of the Masters. Of course it's all over now, and we know who donned the jacket, but your story raises an issue which golfers tend to overlook. Luck. (Though we all know about our own bad luck, of course....) But watching the chip in at hole 1, and the eagle at 3, it was obvious the 'Golfing Gods' were keeping a kindly eye on Swartzel, and in some respects his win came as no surprise. (Though the 4 closing birdies were pretty hot...) I'm sure he could never repeat holes 1 and 3 in maybe a thousand times of trying. McIlroy blew it, no doubt, but his shot at the 10th could just as easily kicked out into the fairway, and with a break like that he would still have been in serious contention. I know as golfers we make our own luck : Just keep it on the fairway, for starters. And I've no doubt Rory will come back and win a bundle of majors over the next 15 years or so. It was the most exciting, compelling Masters in years (or any major, for that matter) liberally sprinkled with magical shots under the most trying of conditions. I was also delighted to see the new breed of young golfers leave the "greats" in their wake - not down playing Woods, Mickelson or others, but at least we know golf is in good hands for the next generation. Thanks your blogs on Agusta - going there is probably No 1 on my list of "Things to do before I die".

kat   #5   03:36 pm Jun 26 2011

I think they will be. They have the potential to do it this time of <a href=";&gt;Sports&lt;/a&gt; season.

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