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Mixed results for Australians at 2017 Masters

Scott pitching to the 8th hole today (Photo: Getty Images)
The Australian challenge at the 2017 Masters Tournament has ended with, perhaps predictably, Adam Scott heading the five who contested the event.

Scott added a final round of 73 to finish in share of 9th and while it was just his 5th top ten in sixteen starts at Augusta National it was a week of frustration for the 2013 champion.

Scott created plenty of opportunities early in his round today but the 3rd hole perhaps gave an indication of the way the day might pan out. After driving it just through the back of the green at the reachable par four he failed to get up and down and he was unable to build the momentum he need to close within striking distance.

Birdies at the 13th and 14th gave him a glimmer of hope but he would need a huge finishing burst over the closing four holes and some help from those ahead on the leaderboard and neither would happen.

He would bogey the 15th after finding the water with his approach and any remote hopes he held at the stage were extinguished.

“I wasn’t exactly where I wanted to be on the back nine,” said Scott told Fox Sports.  “The rhythm was not quite as good today, nothing was really feeling great and it felt just a bit harder. I can’t be too disappointed. I played well this week but it just didn’t happen today.

“I was trying to be patient and trying to let it happen but the putts didn’t fall and the shots didn’t quite get close enough and then I made a couple of errors but that is what it is out here.”

Jason Day was always under pressure to perform well this week given the circumstances surrounding his mother Denning’s illness and hospitalisation ahead of the tournament and although he indicated he was ready to do well earlier in the week his lack of tournament preparation perhaps counted against him in the end.

He put together a very impressive weekend, given the circumstances, playing the final 36 holes in 4 under par and so to have done that and tied for 22nd was an overall good showing given the limited expectations ahead of the tournament.

Marc Leishman finally found some form today after what had been a torrid week, a final round of 71 seeing him finish in 43rd position. The highlight of his final round and perhaps his week was a holed approach from the fairway at the 7th hole which fed back some forty feet off the backboard into the hole.

Unfortunately for Leishman, his final round, as much improved as it was, started with a double bogey and ended the same way but in between there had been five birdies and the eagle in addition to two bogeys.

For Leishman, however, it was his second best finish at the Masters in five starts and he leaves the event no doubt feeling much better about what was an encouraging final round.

Curtis Luck will be perhaps disappointed that he was unable to finish as the leading amateur but that he was one of only two amateurs to make it to the weekend was a significant achievement in his debut at Augusta National. Just getting to the event was also.

A run of four consecutive birdies through his back nine today kept alive the possibility of him being the leading amateur but that honour would go to US Mid Amateur Champion, Stewart Hagestad, who finished three clear of the West Australian in that category.

Luck now heads to San Antonio in Texas for the Valero Texas Open where he will play as a professional for the very first occasion. He is allowed seven invites into PGA Tour events this season, one of which he has already had when missing the cut at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.This week's start does not count towards that as he played his way into the event though his success at the US and Asia Pacific Amateur Championships

“The experience of playing in front of big crowds, that is such a tough golf course and that it is my first major championship,” said Luck when asked by Fox Sports what he would take out of the week.

“Hopefully I will use that experience for later down the track.”

Rod Pampling was the only other Australian in the field but he missed the weekend by two shots, the first occasion he has missed the cut at the Masters in four visits to Augusta National.             




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