Scott treads warily in the footsteps of Norman

No Australian has ever won the Masters. The names of the six runners-up are a painful reminder of 75 years of Aussie hurt among the Augusta pines. Please bow your heads and shed a tear for: Jim Ferrier (1950), Bruce Crampton (1972), Jack Newton (1980) and poor old Greg Norman (1986, '87 and '96).

But there is hope again for old green and gold. Adam Scott is primed at seven under par to putt the Aussie jinx to rest. Or, whisper it, and kiss the lucky rabbit's foot, add to its legend.

He signed for a five-under-par 67 that included only 26 putts in the third round here yesterday. But here's another jinx – and this one stretches back in time. Scott is wielding a broomhandle putter that, if it has a brush attached to its base, would be ideal for sweeping his garden path. Many of golf's globetrotting circus of followers want to see them banned. Scott will also know that no one has ever won a major leaning on the long putter like an old man waiting at a bus stop.

It is 15 years since Nick Faldo put his arm around a crestfallen Norman on the 18th green and whispered: "I dunno what to say, mate. Don't let the bastards get you down." Scott knows all about who Faldo was calling the "B" word. It was the "M" word, the media. "There were almost tears at home that day," he said. "Everyone was devastated. Greg was my hero. He was a demi-god. He was 'It' when I was growing up," Scott said. He was supposed to be the new Norman. It was an impossible task.

However, Scott then quickly raced to No 3 in the world and was heralded as the new Tiger with his identikit Woods swing. But disaster struck. He split from his long-time girlfriend in 2008, broke his hand in a car door, smashed his knee surfing and developed ulcers on his tonsils – and his game fell to pieces.

He hasn't had a top 10 at the Masters since his debut here in 2002 or in any major since 2006. But it hasn't been all bad times for the 30-year-old. He has frolicked with actress Kate Hudson and then dated tennis star Ana Ivanovic.

"To win here is probably indescribable. It's something we haven't accomplished in Australian sport," Scott said. "We are a strong sporting nation and we push our athletes hard. One day it's going to happen.

"But you know, I don't think the guys carry a burden. I think no one here is thinking there's a voodoo on us from Australia," he said laughing. "No one's got over the line yet. But it's going to happen."

If Scott is to be the chosen one, he is going to have to break the broomhandle voodoo, too. Except of course he would have us believe he's not thinking about that either. It would be just Scott's bad luck to be pipped at the post by Queensland's 23-year-old Jason Day or Geoff Ogilvy, who has stuck around the leaderboard all week. Then Scott really would be the new Norman.

But it is still not too late for Scott to fulfil his promise and to achieve something that eluded his hero Norman, to pull on that much-coveted Green Jacket this afternoon. "I still certainly dream about it," Scott said. "It's been a fair few years."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Tepper had a stunningly successful career as a songwriter
people
Arts and Entertainment
Len Blavatnik
music
Sport

Today in the Premier League, Everton face Manchester United, and Arsenal take on Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium. A victory for Jose Mourinho's side, and they could win the Premier League title as soon as Wednesday with a win over Leicester.

Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
The original field in High Wycombe, which is used as the banner image on a number of websites belonging to local Tory associations
general election
Arts and Entertainment
Books should be for everyone, says Els, 8. Publisher Scholastic now agrees
booksAn eight-year-old saw a pirate book was ‘for boys’ and took on the publishers
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions