Adam Scott claimed his second success on The European Tour International Schedule with a superb six shot victory in the Qatar Masters at Doha Golf Club.
Starting the day three ahead, the 21 year old Australian, who won the Alfred Dunhill Championship in South Africa last year, exhibited the confidence he gained from that victory allied to a full year on Tour, with a commanding performance which eventually doubled his overnight advantage.
Scott carded a final round 67 for a 19 under par total of 269 to leave England’s Nick Dougherty and Jean-Francois Remesy of France in a distant tie for second place on 275. The victory earned Scott 285,650 euro (£175,722) and moved him to third place on the Volvo Order of Merit.
“I think winning for the second time is almost harder than winning for the first so clearly I am delighted,” said Scott. “I said at the start of the year that I would like to have a multiple win season in Europe so this is a great way to start. Now I can really go and dig my heels in.
“I didn’t put any pressure on myself today. Maybe if someone had gotten off to a hot start then I would have felt pressure but no-one did and I felt comfortable and relaxed. But the conditions were difficult with the wind which made it hard for someone to come from the pack.”
Although confident of converting his overnight position, Scott was wary as he had let similar positions slip in the past, most notably in last year’s Compass Group English Open when he took a two shot lead into the final round only to finish third.
On the eve of the final round, the Australian admitted he needed a good birdie putt early in his round to get his rhythm going and although he did not achieve that in seven straight pars, he did not make any mistakes either to let the chasing pack close in.
But, just as it looked as the Australian was settling for a controlled performance to ease his way to the title, he produced a blistering three holes of golf around the turn to put the destination of the first prize beyond doubt.
He started his run at the 194 yard eighth with a six iron to seven feet before producing the shot of the day in front of the clubhouse at the 634 yard ninth. In the centre of the fairway after two textbook shots, the Australian pulled a pitching wedge from his bag and spun his third shot back into the hole from 133 yards for an incredible eagle three.
Ironically, Scott admitted on Friday that before his round he had spoken to his caddie about holing full iron shots and bemoaned the fact he had not done it in competition for five years. That day he holed his five iron second from 200 yards on the 15th and had only to wait two days to do something similar again.
As if that was not sufficient proof it was to be his day, Scott proceeded to pick up his fourth shot in three holes at the 510 yard tenth, seeing his second shot find the rough at the front of the green before pitching to five feet and holing out.
After that, although he dropped shots at the 12th and 15th, birdies at the 14th, 17th and 18th meant there was only ever going to be one pair of hands on the glittering Mother of Pearl Trophy.
Tied for second place, Nick Dougherty produced his best ever performance on The European Tour and the 19 year old Englishman was understandably delighted. “It is great, it really is,” he said. “It was a big day for me and the first time I’ve been in that situation but I’m pleased with my 69.
“I’d never felt pressure like that before but I was pleased how well my long game stood up to it and how committed I was to all my shots. I expect a lot of myself and I said before I went out that I am here now to try and win, but I’m chuffed with the result.”
Dougherty thought he might have secured second place outright when he birdied the last hole but was caught moments later by Remesy, who pitched to seven feet and holed out for four for a 70 to earn both men 148,858 euro (£91,572).
The Frenchman, who had been suffering from a bad back all week, refused to look at the leaderboards all the way round, and was naturally delighted when he realised what he had achieved.
“I was struggling a bit at the beginning because I haven’t been I the race to win a tournament for a long time but it’s been a great week for me and I’m really happy,” he said. “But all credit should go to Adam. He played fantastic golf and was unbelievable. Today, he was just different class.”
Six players shared fourth place on 11 under par 277, John Bickerton, Stephen Gallacher, Joakim Haeggman, Henrik Nystrom, Mark Pilkington and Eduardo Romero.