After leading nearly the entire way at the Australian Open, Adam Scott’s putter deserted him on the back nine, his approach sailed over the green on the 72nd hole, and the man biding to become just the second player to capture the Australian triple crown was left wondering what could have been.
With a two-shot swing on the final green – Rory McIlroy holed a 15-footer for birdie, Scott bogeyed after two-putting from 50 feet – Scott came agonizingly short Sunday in his attempt to win all three Australian majors … and even the team portion of the World Cup.
“It’s just the way golf is,” Scott told reporters afterward, via the Sydney Morning Herald. “I’m gutted. I felt like I never had a better chance to win the Aussie Open.”
Indeed, it was a crushing defeat in what had otherwise been a near-flawless blitz through his home country.
Scott won in consecutive weeks at the Australian PGA and Talisker Masters, then finished third individually at the World Cup to draw closer to world No. 1 than he ever had been.
Attempting to become the first player since Robert Allenby (2005) to win all three Australian majors, Scott began this week with a course-record, 10-under 62 to set the early pace. He followed with rounds of 70-68, but his closing 71 wasn’t enough to keep pace with McIlroy’s final-round 66.
Scott will end 2013 with four worldwide victories – one fewer than Woods – including his game-changing victory at the Masters.
“It’s been a great year,” he said, according to the report. “Obviously I didn’t want to finish like that. 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.”