Adam Scott has defended his title by winning a drama filled Australian Masters by two-strokes at Royal Melbourne.
Adam Scott took a four-shot lead into the final round of the 2013 Talisker Australian Masters and most assumed the US Masters champion would stroll to an easy victory.
But world number eight Matt Kuchar ensured Adam Scott would have to work for the win with a fabulous closing round that was only marred by a tournament changing double-bogey at the 18th hole.
Vijay Singh challenged Scott early in the final day, pulling within two shots with four birdies in his first six holes. Three consecutive bogeys finished Singh’s attempt to overhaul Scott but Matt Kuchar soon took over the role of applying the pressure on the Masters champion.
Like Singh, Kuchar also began the day a long way behind Scott and played some aggressive golf to haul in Scott and take a two-shot lead at the par-5 15th hole as Scott found bunker trouble and made double-bogey the 14th.
Just one hole later the scores were tied as Scott made up a shot with birdie and Kuchar could not get up and down for par at the 16th.
Scott added to the unfolding drama when his approach shot to the 17th struck the flagstick and ricocheted 20-feet from the hole. His resulting par had golf fans readying themselves for a playoff when Kuchar got a little too aggressive on the 18th and found the island-rough in the middle of the right green-side bunker and was forced to chip out.
Trying to hole the bunker shot, Kuchar’s golf ball ran well past the hole and he settled for a double-bogey.
“The thing about Royal Melbourne is you can really pay the price for just being off if you play aggressively,” Kuchar said after the round.
“You know, I was playing really good golf and thought I had a pretty good shot into 18 and just, you know, a little aggressive and
came up a little short.”
Kuchar didn’t dwell on the poor finish though and signed autographs as he sets his mind towards next week’s World Cup at Royal Melbourne.
“I think it’s so easy to dwell on your last hole and you see guys carry over some bad momentum and I know better than to do that.”
All that was now left was for Scott to make bogey or better on the final hole for victory. Scott’s par carded him an even par round and was awarded the golf jacket for his victory.
Scott has now won two consecutive tournaments in Australia adding the Australian Masters title to his Australian PGA Championship victory last week.
“I’ve never won back to back weeks so this is a first: something that I like. It feels good.” Scott said.
“I think it’s very hard to win two tournaments full stop, let alone back to back, so I’m quite pleased with myself this week.”
A win at the Australian Open in two weeks time in Sydney will complete the Aussie ‘triple-crown’, something that has only ever been achieved once before by Robert Allenby in 2005 when he won the Australian Open, Australian Masters and Australian PGA Championship.
Scott’s mind however now turns to the World Cup of Golf where he joins compatriot Jason Day at Royal Melbourne this week.
“Well, my game is in pretty good shape so my focus is to go and get Jason revved up and make sure he’s in good shape on Thursday. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun in all seriousness.”