Scott Breaks the Bank

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NORTON, Mass. (AP) -- With consecutive birdies to open a huge lead and clutch pars that kept anyone from making a serious run, Adam Scott closed with a 5-under 66 on Monday to win the Deutsche Bank Championship.
 
Scott led by at least three shots throughout a rainy afternoon on the TPC of Boston, and a birdie on the final hole gave him a four-shot victory over Rocco Mediate.
 
'Now it seems easy,' he said. 'I was grinding really hard out there.'
 
The 23-year-old Aussie, who finished at 20-under 268, won for the first time on the PGA Tour and fifth time worldwide, all of them by protecting a lead going into the final round.
 
'He's as good as you can get,' Mediate said. 'At his age ... we've got our hands full.'
 
Scott's record is nothing like Woods, who is 28-2 on the PGA Tour when he has at least a share of the 54-hole lead.
 
The swing, however, is eerily similar, and it carried Scott to a dominant performance over the last three rounds that left everyone else playing for second.
 
Mediate did his best to make a charge with four birdies in five holes around the turn, and he closed with a 6-under 65. All that got him was second place.
 
Justin Rose, Scott's best friend on the European tour, birdied the last two holes for a 67 and finished third at 269. Vijay Singh was another stroke back after a 66 that could have been much better if not for a slew of short-range birdie putts that he missed.
 
Scott earned $900,000 and a two-year exemption on the PGA Tour, although he is expected to continue playing a full schedule in Europe.
 
Woods never had a chance in the tournament that benefits his foundation.
 
He birdied his first three holes to get within five strokes of the lead, and consecutive birdies to start the back nine moved him into a tie for third.
 
But a double bogey on No. 12 derailed any hopes of getting closer to Scott, and Woods had to settle for two birdies at the end for a 67. He finished at 273, tied for seventh.
 
It was his fifth straight PGA Tour event without a victory dating to the Western Open on the Fourth of July weekend, although he has finished out of the top seven only once during that stretch.
 
Woods' next tournament will be at the end of the month at the American Express Championship, which he won last year in Ireland.
 
Three days of sunshine gave way to lead-gray skies and a light rain, although close to 30,000 people still packed in behind the ropes to watch the conclusion of the PGA Tour's return to the Boston area for the first time in five years.
 
Scott didn't waste any time eliminating the drama.
 
Starting the final round with a three-shot lead, he never let anyone get closer, starting with a simple up-and-down for birdie on the par-5 second hole. He stretched his lead to six shots with a pitch into 10 feet for birdie on 7, then had to hold on.
 
Mediate chipped in for birdie from about 30 feet on No. 7, starting a stretch of four birdies in five holes that brought him within three shots of the lead.
 
Two groups behind, Scott looked as though he might fold.
 
He missed the green badly to the right on No. 11 for his first bogey of the final round, and when he let the driver fall loosely from his hands after a poor drive on 12, it appeared as though nerves were getting the best of him.
 
He came up 70 feet short of the cup and lagged to 8 feet.
 
'Another mistake there could have been crucial,' Scott said. 'I got away with it. My putter saved me on the back nine.'
 
He holed the par putt, and the tournament effectively ended on the next hole.
 
Mediate hit his approach into five feet on the 14th, while Scott hit into a hill of shaggy rough to the right of the 13th green and chipped to 10 feet.
 
A two-shot swing appeared imminent, with all the momentum going Mediate's way. But he badly missed the birdie putt, Scott poured his in for par, and the young Aussie wrapped it up with a six-foot birdie on 15.
 
Scott is considered one of the elite young players, although his best golf has been played overseas -- victories in Qatar and Sweden, Scotland and South Africa.
 
Before a packed gallery an hour south of Boston, he rose to the occasion.
 
Greg Norman, the most famous Australian now beyond the twilight of his career, finished his round about an hour ahead of Scott.
 
'He's blossomed into quite a player,' Norman said.
 
Related Links:
  • Deutsche Bank Championship Leaderboard
  • Full Coverage - Deutsche Bank Championship
     
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