Adam Scott holds on to claim Players title
Adam Scott lifted The Players Championship title on Sunday despite making a bogey at the 18th hole after hitting his approach shot into the water.
The 23-year-old Australian had a two-stroke lead going to the last and struck an iron off the tee. But then, from 212 yards, he found water and needed to sink a 10-foot putt for a bogey five to scramble a one-shot win.
Scott claimed his second PGA Tour victory thanks to a closing two-under-par 70 which gave him a 12-under total of 276. Ireland's Padraig Harrington fired a 66 for 277 to finish second at the TPC at Sawgrass for the second year in a row.
The Australian described the 18th as a "rollercoaster of emotion".
"I hit such a good chip, by my standards, anyway," Scott told reporters. "And once I knew the putt was pretty straight up there, I felt really confident I could make it.
"I just didn't let myself think about anything else then but making the putt."
Kenny Perry (71), Phil Mickelson (71) and Frank Lickliter II (72) shared third place on 280, eight under. Jay Haas, 50, was tied for sixth on 281 with Kevin Sutherland and Jerry Kelly in the tournament widely regarded as the fifth "major".
World number one Tiger Woods was unable to mount a last-day challenge and finished tied for 16th on 285 following a one-over 73. Defending champion Davis Love III also had a 73 and was joint 33rd on 288.
Starting the day with a two-shot advantage, Scott was never seriously challenged until his last-hole blunder. He reached the turn in a three-under 33 and at that point was four strokes clear of Mickelson and Perry.
Scott bogeyed the 10th and 14th but also had birdies at the 11th and 12th.
For the most part, he kept his eyes off the leaderboards out on the course.
"I looked occasionally, maybe once on the front nine and once after I made a putt on 12 to just check out what's happening, and then I didn't look again until I saw Padraig finished at 11 under, and I was 13 under, I think," Scott said.
"I was thinking to myself, easy birdie on 16 and three shots clear and cruise in. But you know, it's that kind of place where funny things can happen."
Scott has now won six times worldwide. His first victory on the PGA Tour came at last year's inaugural Deutsche Bank Championship.
"It's a great start for the year, obviously, and it's a big step for me, winning a tournament," he said. "It's on the path for me.
"It's got to give me a lot of confidence going into the U.S. Masters at Augusta (next month). Without putting too much pressure on myself, I feel like I have a legitimate chance there."
Harrington, who was waiting for the outcome on the practice range when Scott was playing the 18th, shared second place here last year. If not for three bogeys in the first five holes, the result would have been different for the Irishman.
"I kept telling myself to stick in there and keep going, ride out the bad holes and hopefully it would turn around," Harrington said.
"I didn't think there was much wrong with my golf swing, I just felt I got a little bit quick and it was more mental errors than anything else.
"These things can come back just as quick as they go. So I holed a few putts."
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