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Scott ends years of pain for Australian golf at Masters

By Peter Shadbolt, CNN
April 16, 2013 -- Updated 1615 GMT (0015 HKT)
Adam Scott of Australia celebrates after he sinks a birdie putt
Adam Scott of Australia celebrates after he sinks a birdie putt
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The 32-year-old self-effacing golf champion has become a national hero in Australia
  • Born in Adelaide in 1980, Scott showed early promise as a professional golfer
  • His father, also a golf professional, perfected his easy and straightforward swing
  • Scott's victory is seen as avenging Australian golfing great Greg Norman's defeat in 1996

(CNN) -- Adam Scott -- the lanky, easy-going 32-year-old golfer who made history by becoming the first Australian to win the U.S. Masters -- not only has to contend with national hero status at home but also the role of golf's latest sex symbol.

Jessica Korda, a member of the LPGA tour who won last year's Women's Australian Open, tweeted: "Adam Scott!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A million girls just fell in love."

It's not the first time the 6-foot (182cm), 180-pound (81kg) Australian has provoked a Beatlemaniac response on the course

In 2005, during the Players Championship in Florida, Scott struggled to ignore teenage girls yelling their phone numbers at him as he concentrated on his game.

"They looked a little too young to be giving me their phone numbers," the self-effacing golfer reportedly told a Florida newspaper at the time.

Read: Scott ends Aussie's Augusta curse

Born in Adelaide, South Australia in 1980, Scott showed early promise as a golfer growing up in Australia's tropical state of Queensland -- a favored golfing destination in Australia.

They looked a little too young to be giving me their phone numbers
Adam Scott
Adam Scott of Australia smiles while wearing the green jacket after winning the 2013 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, on Sunday, April 14. Scott captured golf's most prestigious event in an oh-so-close sudden-death playoff with Angel Cabrera. Click through to see all the shots from the fourth day and look back at the third round. Adam Scott of Australia smiles while wearing the green jacket after winning the 2013 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, on Sunday, April 14. Scott captured golf's most prestigious event in an oh-so-close sudden-death playoff with Angel Cabrera. Click through to see all the shots from the fourth day and look back at the third round.
The Masters: Final Round
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Photos: The Masters: Final Round Photos: The Masters: Final Round
Brandt Snedeker of the United States waves during the third round of the 77th Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on Saturday, April 13, in Augusta, Georgia. Click through to see all the shots from the third day and look back at the second round. Brandt Snedeker of the United States waves during the third round of the 77th Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on Saturday, April 13, in Augusta, Georgia. Click through to see all the shots from the third day and look back at the second round.
The Masters: Round Three
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Photos: The Masters: Round Three Photos: The Masters: Round Three
Guan Tianlang of China shakes hands with Matteo Manassero of Italy after the second round of the 2013 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on Friday, April 12, in Augusta, Georgia. Click through to see all the shots from the second day and look back at the first round. Guan Tianlang of China shakes hands with Matteo Manassero of Italy after the second round of the 2013 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on Friday, April 12, in Augusta, Georgia. Click through to see all the shots from the second day and look back at the first round.
The Masters: Round Two
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Photos: The Masters: Round Two Photos: The Masters: Round Two
Dustin Johnson of the U.S. watches his tee shot on the 12th hole during the first round of the 2013 Masters Tournament on Thursday, April 11, at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia. Click through to see all the shots from the first day and look back at the Par 3 Contest. Dustin Johnson of the U.S. watches his tee shot on the 12th hole during the first round of the 2013 Masters Tournament on Thursday, April 11, at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia. Click through to see all the shots from the first day and look back at the Par 3 Contest.
Photos: The Masters: Round One
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Photos: The Masters: Round One Photos: The Masters: Round One
The Masters Tournament is synonymous with the green jacket awarded to each year's winner, but that hasn't stopped some of golf's greatest players from sporting their own stand-out looks at Augusta National Golf Club.
Walter Hagen, who won his first professional major in 1914, had a particular panache -- he traveled by limousine and favored snazzy clothes and two-toned shoes. Hagen won 11 professional major championships. Click through the gallery to see more fashion icons. The Masters Tournament is synonymous with the green jacket awarded to each year's winner, but that hasn't stopped some of golf's greatest players from sporting their own stand-out looks at Augusta National Golf Club. Walter Hagen, who won his first professional major in 1914, had a particular panache -- he traveled by limousine and favored snazzy clothes and two-toned shoes. Hagen won 11 professional major championships. Click through the gallery to see more fashion icons.
Masters of fashion
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Masters of fashion Masters of fashion
"Godfather of Soul" James Brown shined shoes and sang songs on Augusta's Broad Street as a child. Despite passing away in 2006, Brown's presence still remains with his statue and music continually drawing visitors. "Godfather of Soul" James Brown shined shoes and sang songs on Augusta's Broad Street as a child. Despite passing away in 2006, Brown's presence still remains with his statue and music continually drawing visitors.
I feel good
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Golf and the Godfather of Soul Golf and the Godfather of Soul

His father, Phil, said he remembers his son hitting a golf ball around a par-three golf course at the age of four.

"In his primary school days a golf club was the same as a cricket bat, tennis racquet or football," Scott Snr. told Queensland's The Courier Mail newspaper. "Whatever he picked up first was good enough."

His father was the first director of golf at Twin Waters Resort and, naturally enough, became his son's coach. He perfected a simple swing technique which Scott has used to devastating effect throughout his career.

"I tried to keep it simple and natural," he said. "As a golf pro, I appreciated the need for solid technique, but I never tried to cloud his mind with too many technical thoughts."

Battling demons

In 1996, at the age of 17, Scott enrolled at Kooralbyn International School south of Brisbane, a school with a renowned golf program.

His teacher Peter Claughton told Australian media that Scott had been a cut above the other golfing students.

"Adam was switched on and organised. He knew all about golf courses all over the world, the great players, the touring pros and what other amateurs were doing," Claughton said.

"He was single-minded and talked about what he wanted to do. On weekends, he'd plan exactly what he was doing. He wasn't a kid to just hit balls on the practice range. He'd always work on something specific."

From there, the golf prodigy went on to attend the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, turning professional in 2000. Since then, it has been a steady climb.

He has won nine PGA Tour events, eight on the European tour, four on the Asian tour, one Sunshine Tour title and three PGA Tour of Australasia competitions.

Scott has always idolized Australian golfing giant Greg Norman -- nicknamed was the Great White Shark -- whose defeat in at the U.S. Masters in 1996 became a defining national moment in Australia.

Scott is now being viewed as an avenging angel for Norman's defeat from a seemingly unbeatable position.

"Australia is a proud sporting nation," Scott told a press conference following his Masters victory. "And this is one notch in the belt that we had never go."

He then paid tribute to Norman, his childhood idol.

"It was one guy who inspired a nation of golfers, and that is Greg Norman," Scott said. "Part of this definitely belongs to him."

Scott has also had to battle his demons on the golf course, which was epitomized by his stunning capitulation at last year's Open Championship at Royal Lytham in England.

Read: How to heal major heartbreak

Going into the final round with a four-shot lead, a disastrous run of four straight bogeys from the 15th hole saw him finish one shot adrift of former world No. 1 Ernie Els. The young Australian wore a haunted look in the post-match press conference that suggested the experience would permanently scar his sporting psyche.

But as with many great Australian sportsmen and sportswomen down the years, Scott's battling determination gave him the last laugh.

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