[PHOTO: Getty Images]
Adam Scott fired a brilliant final round of 66 at the WM Phoenix Open to rocket up the leaderboard and finish top Australian at TPC Scottsdale.
Continuing his solid play in the early part of 2024, Scott bagged his first top 10 on the PGA Tour this year with a tie for eighth at the party tournament in Arizona. The solid result comes after a T-20 at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am last week and a T-7 at the Dubai Desert Classic last month.
Teeing off the 10th hole at TPC Scottsdale on Sunday, US time, the 2013 Masters champion made birdie at the par-3 12th and then an eagle at the par-5 15th. Scott blistered a 307-yard drive up the fairway before firing a 243-yard approach for his second and draining the 15-foot eagle putt. The world No.48 made bogey at the 17th before gathering four birdies and a bogey on his back nine (TPC Scottsdale’s front nine).
Scott finished at 13-under par and eight shots out of a playoff that Canadian Nick Taylor won on the second extra hole over Charley Hoffman.
Scott said his tee-to-green performance was more reminiscent of his ball-striking best than what he has experienced with his full swing the past couple of years.
“I had a slow start [to the tournament] but played really nicely for the last three days,” Scott said. “I’m most pleased with my ball-striking really coming back to where I want it. I feel like it’s been a while since I could say that. That’s a good feeling going into next week at Riviera, a tournament I love. It’s a big event on our schedule, and a course where you really need to hit the ball well to have a chance.”
Fellow veteran Aaron Baddeley was next best of the Australians in a tie for 28th at eight-under. Kiwi Ryan Fox tied for 41st at six-under while Min Woo Lee was even and equal 71st.
Next up for Scott is Tiger Woods’ Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles next week. Scott has won the event twice in his career, with 2020 his most recent 72-hole victory anywhere in the world. Scott is a sponsor’s exemption into the $US20 million designated event.
“I’m very grateful for the chance to play at my favourite event of the year really on tour,” he said. “I’ve had good results there. I feel my game is in good shape, so I have a lot of positive energy going there. Looking forward to it. I’d love to do a little better and get in contention and try and win there for a third time.”
Meanwhile on the DP World Tour, Haydn Barron was the best of the Australians at the Qatar Masters. Japan’s Rikuya Hoshino, who lost in a playoff to Joaquin Niemann at the Australian Open in December, won the event at 14-under. Barron was tied ninth at eight-under, six behind Hoshino, courtesy of a one-under final round.
Harrison Endycott tied for 42nd while Perth’s Jason Scrivener was equal 61st.