The 24-year old Scott, now into his second season with the Tour, fired a final round 3'under 69 at Kingwood Country Clubs Forest course in Houston for a 72-hole total of 274. He won by one shot over Roger Tambellini and former U.S. Amateur champions Hank Kuehne (1998) and Jeff Quinney (2000). Wes Martin of Calgary (T24) was the top Canadian at 1-under.
For Scott, who also won last years TELUS Vancouver Open, his second Canadian Tour triumph in as many years will likely mean he wont have to answer as many questions about the final day of the 1996 U.S. Amateur Championship as he has in the past. That day, Scott saw a big lead over Tiger Woods evaporate over the final holes before eventually losing to Woods in a playoff.
Im not sure if this will put that to rest, but it should help, said Scott, adding he has yet to play in a tournament where he hasnt been asked about that match-up with Woods. Of course, I still wish I could have won, but finishing second is something that I will always be known for. With this win, hopefully, it will push it further back in peoples minds.
Ranked the top putter in the tournament, Scott, who took home $24,000 with the win, missed a chance to pull ahead of Quinney earlier when he lipped out on six-foot putts on the ninth and 10th holes. He finally took the lead for good when he grabbed par on the 12th while Quinney, in trouble off the tee, struggled to a bogey. Hitting his second shot on the par-4 final hole from 198 yards, Scott hit a 4-iron onto the green and two-putted. Quinney had a chance to force a playoff, but his 50-foot attempt rolled six inches by the cup.
I think I played strong most of the week, said Scott, who had just one bogey over his final 54 holes. Even when I missed those putts, it was frustrating, but I stayed patient and told myself to hang in there. On the final hole, all I was thinking was get it on and two-putt. If you dont make any big mistakes when it is all on the line, youll probably come out on top.
After leading through each of the opening three rounds, Quinneys chances for a victory hinged on that final lengthy birdie try. Using almost perfect weight, the ball just wouldnt turn toward the hole at the end.
I was surprised it wouldnt break, but thats the way it goes, said Quinney. I didnt play my best today, but things werent going my way. But hats off to Steve - hes a good player and stepped it up when he needed to. Id like to get another chance at him over the next few weeks.
Playing four groups ahead of the leaders, Kuehne almost stole the show by firing an 8-under 64, one shot shy of the course record set Friday by Scott. On Saturday, Kuehne eagled the 10th hole to get to 4-under on the day before reeling off four straight bogeys en route to a 3-over 73.
Heading into Sunday, the 26-year-old trailed Quinney by seven strokes before lighting up Kingwood.
On Saturday, I played the hardest part of the course well, but coming home I couldnt buy I break, even when I hit great shots, said Kuehne, regarded as one of the longest hitters in the world. I didnt hit the ball all that well, but my putter bailed me out. Most people know if anyone can make birdies, its me. I just need to limit those mistakes. But its always good to know you can play well when you need to.