The Athletic Reporter
September 12, 2005 Sports News the Way You Want It. Completely Made Up. Issue 127
Dan Marino Wins Masters, Captures First Major Championship At Long Last
Originally posted 4/12/2004

Marino gets his green jacket from 2003 champion Mike Weir
AUGUSTA, GA - Many thought it wouldn't happen, but he never gave up hope. Sunday, after years of close calls, unfulfilled potential and repeated disappointment, Dan Marino finally won a major championship, capturing the fabled green jacket at the Masters. Marino shot 9 under par for the tournament, narrowly beating two-time U.S. Open champion Ernie Els (-8) with a birdie on the 72nd and final hole.

"This is an absolute dream come true," Marino said. "I'm so thrilled that it finally happened, and that it happened here, like this. It's such a relief to have that monkey off my back. No more questions about what it feels like to never win one... I just can't believe it. It feels great."

Marino's previous high finish at the Masters came in 1984 when, in only his second year on the PGA Tour, he entered the tournament's final day tied for the lead. He made several mistakes that fateful Sunday, however, and ended up with a disappointing second-place finish. He never came close to winning at Augusta again. It should be noted that many golf fans are under the impression that Marino also finished second at the 1982 Masters, but that was actually David Woodley.

"When you're that age," Marino said, "you feel like, hey, I'll get 'em next year. You don't realize how special that is, to be in contention at the Masters. A lot of guys play their whole careers and never get that chance. I'm just so lucky that I got another opportunity, and I was able to capitalize on it."

"Dan really played his heart out today," said runner-up Els. "I really was hoping to get a chance at a playoff if he didn't make birdie there at 18, but, this was his time. He deserved it."

"I'm still trying to let it sink in," Marino said Sunday night, after celebrating with his family over dinner. "Dan Marino: champion. Honestly, this is the greatest thing that's happened to me since I got to be in 'Ace Ventura.'"

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