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Masters 2011: Australians Adam Scott, Jason Day finish strong

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AUGUSTA, GA. – Adam Scott stood on the 17th tee at Augusta National Sunday with a one-shot lead in the Masters, and he did not win. Yet his attitude afterward was nothing but sunny.

“For me, personally, there’s only positives to take out of this,” Scott said.

Scott, simply, got beat. He made a steely par at 17 after hitting a horrendous drive left of the fairway, and he gave himself an opportunity for birdie at the last, but missed a 20-foot putt. The result: a 67 that included only one bogey, and simply a tip of the cap to winner Charl Schwartzel of South Africa, who finished with four straight birdies.

“When you birdie the last four holes at the Masters and you’re around the lead, that usually wins,” Scott said. “Nothing I can do about it.”

Scott and countryman Jason Day — 68 Sunday, with a birdie-birdie finish — played together and tied for second, each proud of the way he played. But the result means Australia is still looking for its first Masters victory.

“Obviously, we fell short a little bit,” Day said, “but it just shows how good Australian golf is right now.”

Australian Geoff Ogilvy shot 67 Sunday to tie for fourth with England’s Luke Donald and Tiger Woods. The top nine included players from Africa (Schwartzel), Australia, North America (Woods and Bo Van Pelt), Europe (Donald), South America (Argentina’s Angel Cabrera in seventh) and Asia (South Korea’s K.J. Choi), tied for eighth.

Female columnist denied

Tara Sullivan, a columnist at the Bergen Record in New Jersey, wasn’t allowed into the locker room following the tournament to interview Rory McIlroy, though several male reporters were. Sullivan tweeted about the incident afterward, writing: “Bad enough no women members at Augusta. But not allowing me to join writers in locker room interview is just wrong.”

Augusta National officials do not speak about the club’s membership, but it is well documented that the club has no female members. Club officials Sunday night blamed Sullivan’s exclusion from the locker room on a misinformed guard.

“It shouldn’t have happened,” said Steve Ethun, the club’s director of communications. “Please note that this was a mistake.”

Marino struggles

Fairfax native Steve Marino closed out his second Masters with a 73, finishing tied for 42nd at 2 over. Marino’s round Sunday included bogeys at two of the par 5s — Nos. 8 and 13, both birdie holes — and he did not earn back the automatic invitation that comes to those who finish in the top 16, which Marino did a year ago.

Next up: Marino must figure out a way to qualify for the U.S. Open, to be held in June at Bethesda’s Congressional Country Club. Marino, ranked 54th in the world heading into the Masters, could gain an exemption if he moves into the top 50. Otherwise, he will have to go through sectional qualifying. . . .

Defending champion Phil Mickelson closed with his only over-par round of the tournament, a 74 that left him at 1 under and tied for 27th. It’s only the second time Mickelson has finished outside the top 10 at Augusta since 1999. . . . The last of Woods’s four Masters titles came in 2005, but his tie for fourth after a 67 Sunday means he has been a factor in every tournament since. His finishes from 2006-11: T-3, T-2, 2, T-6, T-4, T-4.

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