Last-gasp eagle keeps winless Scott’s slim hopes alive

Published 11/28/2015, 7:05 AM EST
Australian golfer Adam Scott hits a shot during the first round of the Australian Open golf tournament at the Australian Golf Club in Sydney, Australia, November 26, 2015. REUTERS/Steve Christo


By Nick Mulvenney

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SYDNEY (Reuters) – Adam Scott hit a brilliant iron shot to set up an eagle on his final hole at the Australian Open on Saturday and just about keep alive his hopes of not finishing the season winless for the first time in his professional career.

The 36-year-old former world number one had looked on course for a reasonable third round score with three birdies in the first 14 holes at the Australian Golf Club, but bogeys at the 15th and 17th left him one-over-par for the day.

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With his second shot at the par-five 18th, however, he lofted a five iron to 12 feet, draining the putt to record a three-under 68 and stay in touch with the leaders at one-under.

“It’s huge for tomorrow,” said Scott. “Just going out there teeing off under par, it’s always a good feeling, but the difference between five or six, or seven and eight shots (behind) is so huge.

“You never know how they’re going to finish up but at least I clawed into red figures and start tomorrow hopeful of something special.”

Scott said there had been some relief when the 197-yard iron shot landed on the green and stayed there, rather than spin off into the water lurking on the right side of the hole.

“Pretty much if it splashes my tournament’s over, realistically,” he added.

“Even if I up-and-down it for a par, starting tomorrow one over, unless they come way, way back I’m pretty much done so, like I said, it’s a good shot, maybe a little lucky but took advantage of it.”

Scott has won at least one title every year since claiming the Alfred Dunhill Championship in South Africa in 2001, his first year as a full-time professional.

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Even if he fails to clinch a second Australian Open title on Sunday, he will have one final chance to finish with a trophy when he tees off at Tiger Woods’s Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas next week.

Clearly some way from his peak form of 2013, when he won the U.S. Masters, Australian PGA Championship and Australian Masters, the Queenslander admitted he was fatigued after such a long season.

“I’ve played a very heavy back end of the year,” he said.

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“I’m not complaining I’m playing too much golf, I’m enjoying it. But yesterday, I was certainly a little flat … I should have had a couple more coffees maybe.”

(Editing by Greg Stutchbury)

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Dhruv George

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Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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