A “stoked” Adam Scott won his first tournament in almost four years Sunday, keeping his cool on the back nine of the European Tour co-sanctioned Australian PGA Championship to clinch a two-shot victory.
The Australian world number 18 had posted more than 20 top-10 finishes since his last success at the WGC-Cadillac Championship in March 2016 and, in front of his home crowd at Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast, sank a birdie on the 14th and an eagle at the next to hold off New Zealander Michael Hendry.
It was Scott’s second Australian PGA title after romping to victory in 2013 ahead of American Rickie Fowler, and partly made amends for his bitter disappointment at being on the losing team at last week’s Presidents Cup.
“After a good save on 12 it was time to do something, I was behind,” said Scott after a three under par 69 gave him a 13-under winning total of 275.
“There were opportunities for everyone and I was the one who took them today.
“I’m stoked with it, it’s been a long time coming. I’m really happy to win another PGA here,” he added.
The 39-year-old, who grew up on the Gold Coast, credited the crowd support for helping him finally get back into the winner’s circle.
“The support has been great, I’ve had friends and family here, a lot of familiar faces out there, a lot of familiar voices yelling at me,” he said.
“It was really fun and caps off a nice year for me. I drew on my experience.
“I’ve been seeing good things in my game for eight or nine months really,” he added.
“Belief is a big thing and eventually you just have to get it done and today was my opportunity.”
A gutsy Hendry, who has been struggling with a rib injury, had a one-stroke lead at the 10th, but a bogey-bogey finish ruined his card.
He was fortunate to get through the day with the injury having got progressively worse through the week, causing him discomfort at the top of the backswing.
A group of five players tied for third, three behind Scott, including young Chinese big-hitter Yuan “Carl” Yechun and Australian Wade Ormsby.
Defending champion Cameron Smith finished with a 70 to end his tournament six adrift of Presidents Cup teammate Scott, while American 2009 Open Championship winner Stewart Cink hit a final round 71 to end his first Australian tournament in 16 years nine off the pace.