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Golf: McIlroy powers past Scott to win Emirates Australian Open

Rory McIlroy won the Emirates Australian Open by a stroke from home hero Adam Scott for his first victory of the year. Photos: OneAsia.

Rory McIlroy won the Emirates Australian Open by a stroke from home hero Adam Scott for his first victory of the year. Photos: OneAsia.

December 1, 2013: Rory McIlroy birdied the last hole to win OneAsia’s Emirates Australian Open by a stroke on Sunday, breaking the hearts of thousands of fans who turned out hoping to see local hero Adam Scott complete a rare season Triple Crown.

 

Scott (71) led by four overnight and the World No. 2 was hot favourite to add the Emirates Australian Open to the Australian PGA Championship and the Australian Masters he won in early November, but McIlroy fired a six-under-par 66 to ruin the fairytale.

 

The Northern Irishman finished 18-under around the 6,938-yard Royal Sydney Golf Club course to record his first win of a turbulent year marked by a split with his management company and a change of equipment manufacturer.

 

McIlroy has showed a return to form over the past month, starting with a runner-up finish at the Kolon Korea Open, but has made no secret of his desire for a win before the year was out — and this was his penultimate chance.

 

The 24-year-old clenched both fists and gazed skyward as the winning putt dropped, while a stoic Scott looked on impassively.

 

“I am really pleased I was able to take on one of the best players in the world down the stretch and come out on top,” said McIlroy.

 

McIlroy, 24, powered past playing partner Scott with a closing 66, birdieing the last hole.

McIlroy, 24, powered past playing partner Scott with a closing 66, birdieing the last hole at Royal Sydney Golf Club.

“He’s a phenomenal golfer, a great competitor and probably an even better guy. I feel a bit sorry that I’m the one to ruin the Triple Crown for him, but I’m happy for myself.”

 

John Senden (66) finished third at 11-under, while Rhein Gibson and Bryden MacPherson shared fourth after posting 69s. The trio also booked a place in Britain’s 2014 Open Championship at Royal Liverpool (Hoylake) as the top three finishers not already exempt.

 

As the tournament was the last individual event of the OneAsia season, Australian Matt Griffin clinched the 2013 Order of Merit title race after closing with a 70 that left him three-under for the championship.

 

Griffin, winner of the SK Telecom Open in Korea in May after a breakthrough victory on OneAsia at the 2012 Charity High1 Resort Open, did not miss a cut all year and earned US$257,480.

 

“I set myself the goal of winning the title so obviously I’m delighted with the result,” Griffin said.

 “It’s a great tour and I look forward to winning more on OneAsia.”

 

Scott started the Australian Open on Thursday morning with six birdies in a row en-route to a course-record 62 and didn’t relinquish the lead until the last stroke of the championship on Sunday.

 

Up by one on the par-four 18th, he overhit his approach into a greenside swale while McIlroy stiffed his to around 12 feet. After overhitting his chip, Scott putted to within tap-in range and holed out, leaving McIlroy with the putt that broke his year-long drought.

 

“I’m disappointed to make an error at the last and open the door for Rory,” Scott said.

 “I was kind of trying to keep it closed all day the best I could, but nothing was going my way on the greens today.

 

“I could have put this thing away early on if the putter was behaving how it should have — like it did the rest of the week — but I just misjudged into the last and a player as good as Rory is going to take that opportunity.”

 

Scott, who in April became the first Australian to win the Masters, already has a career Australian Triple Crown, but a win on Sunday would have made him only the second player after Robert Allenby (2005) to claim all three in a season.

 

“It has been a great year, but obviously I didn’t want to finish like that,” he said. 

“If I didn’t play any good the first few days and played great today and finished second I’d be pretty chuffed going into Christmas, so that’s how I should look at it. I’ll get over this tonight and look forward to a few weeks’ rest and get ready to go next year.”

 

OneAsia’s next event is the third edition of the Ryder Cup-style Dongfeng Nissan Cup at CTS Tycoon Club in Shenzhen from December 12-15, when Team China takes on an Asia-Pacific select side.

 

Emirates Australian Open (Round 4), Royal Sydney Golf Club, Sydney, Australia

270 – Rory McIlroy (Northern Ireland) 69-65-70-66.

271 – Adam Scott (Australia) 62-70-68-71.

277 – John Senden (Australia) 73-68-70-66.

279 – Bryden Macpherson (Australia) 71-70-69-69, Rhein Gibson (Australia) 71-70-69-69.

280 – Mark Brown (New Zealand) 75-70-66-69, Jason Day (Australia) 70-74-66-70, Matthew Jones (Australia) 68-68-72-72.

281 – Nathan Holman (Australia) 69-72-68-72.

282 – Adam Bland (Australia) 69-72-70-71, Ashley Hall (Australia) 71-71-68-72, Leigh McKechnie (Australia) 73-65-71-73, Max McCardle (Australia) 68-71-69-74.

283 – James Nitties (Australia) 70-71-74-68, Alistair Presnell (Australia) 67-71-74-71, David McKenzie (Australia) 66-75-71-71, Nick O’Hern (Australia) 70-72-70-71, Brady Watt (am, Australia) 68-70-73-72, Stuart Appleby (Australia) 75-67-67-74.

284 – Jamie Arnold (Australia) 72-68-74-70, Mahal Pearce (New Zealand) 72-71-71-70, Rod Pampling (Australia) 75-68-69-72, Richard Green (Australia) 69-66-73-76.

285 – Adam Crawford (Australia) 71-73-72-69, Matthew Griffin (Australia) 73-72-70-70, Ryan Ruffels (am, Australia) 77-67-68-73.

286 – Mathew Goggin (Australia) 70-73-75-68, Cameron Percy (Australia) 71-70-75-70, Steven Bowditch (Australia) 68-74-74-70, Michael Long (Australia) 72-71-72-71, Tim Wilkinson (New Zealand) 73-71-71-71, Kalem Richardson (Australia) 69-74-71-72, Geoff Ogilvy (Australia) 75-66-72-73, Aaron Baddeley (Australia) 67-74-72-73, Scott Arnold (Australia) 70-70-69-77.

287 – Jason Norris (Australia) 67-76-74-70, Peter Lonard (Australia) 72-71-73-71, Robert Allenby (Australia) 72-73-70-72.

288 – Matthew Millar (Australia) 70-73-75-70, Shih-chang Chan (Taiwan) 76-68-74-70, Stephen Allan (Australia) 75-70-73-70, Leigh Deagan (Australia) 71-73-73-71, Aron Price (Australia) 70-69-77-72, Ryan Yip (Canada) 65-75-74-74.

289 – Ryan Lynch (Australia) 73-72-73-71, Scott Strange (Australia) 71-73-73-72, John Young Kim (USA) 65-79-72-73, Jason Scrivener (Australia) 67-74-74-74, Michael Choi (Australia) 70-75-70-74, Anthony Murdaca (am, Australia) 71-74-66-78.

290 – Lucas Lee (Brazil) 70-75-79-66, Timothy Wood (Australia) 73-70-73-74, Tom Bond (Australia) 69-73-70-78.

291 – Ryan Haller (Australia) 74-69-76-72, Josh Younger (Australia) 69-69-79-74.

292 – Ming-hao Wang (China) 75-70-76-71, Anthony Brown (Australia) 68-74-78-72, Anthony Summers (Australia) 74-70-76-72.

293 – Steven Jones (Australia) 68-77-73-75.

294 – Marcus Cain (Australia) 71-73-77-73.

295 – Paul Spargo (Australia) 74-71-78-72, Steven Jeffress (Australia) 75-69-75-76.

296 – Matthew Guyatt (Australia) 71-74-75-76.

297 – Joon-woo Choi (Korea) 72-72-74-79.

 

Source: OneAsia

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