AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Nine months after blowing a four-shot lead in the British Open, Adam Scott gained sweet redemption with a dramatic Masters triumph at a rain-soaked Augusta National on Sunday.
The victory also boosted Scott up to a career-high third in the Official World Golf Ranking, while 2009 Masters champion Angel Cabrera, whom Scott defeated on the second hole of sudden death, climbed from 269th all the way up to 64th in the ranking.
Tiger Woods held on to the top rung, while Rory McIlroy remained second. Justin Rose bumped down to fourth behind Scott, while Brandt Snedeker held onto the fifth spot.
Luke Donald dropped two spots to sixth, while Louis Oosthuizen slipped one place to seventh. Steve Stricker remained in eighth, while Matt Kuchar rose from 10th place up to ninth and Phil Mickelson dropped from ninth to 10th.
The second 10 includes No. 11 Lee Westwood (up from 13th place), No. 12 Keegan Bradley (down from 11th), No. 13 Sergio Garcia (up from 16th), No. 14 Bubba Watson, No. 15 Ian Poulter (down from 12th), No. 16 Charl Schwartzel (down from 15th), No. 17 Dustin Johnson (up from 19th), No. 18 Graeme McDowell (down from 17th), No. 19 Jason Dufner (down from 18th) and No. 20 Webb Simpson.
Scott, who bogeyed the last four holes at Royal Lytham and lost by one to Ernie Els, birdied the second hole of a sudden-death playoff after he and Cabrera had finished tied on 9 under par. The 32-year-old Australian thought he had claimed his first major title, and become the first Australian to win a green jacket, when he birdied the 18th in regulation, roaring "Come on Aussie" after holing from 25 feet.
But Cabrera, watching from the fairway, promptly fired his approach to three feet for a birdie of his own to force extra holes.
The pair both made par when they returned to the 18th hole – Cabrera almost chipping in to win it – and Scott then birdied the 10th from 12 feet to seal a memorable win.
"I don't know how that happens," Scott said of the dramatic finale. "It seems a long way away from last July when I was trying to win another major. It fell my way today, there was some luck there. It was incredible."
Scott had almost been overlooked after a bogey at the first and birdie at the third were followed by nine pars in succession, but then came a massive stroke of luck on the 13th.
His approach to the par 5 spun back toward the water in front of the green but, aided by the rain, stopped on the downslope in a manner reminiscent to what happened to Fred Couples on the 12th on his way to victory in 1992.