Adam Scott stunned his rivals with a breathtaking final round of 11 under par 61 to win the Commercialbank Qatar Masters presented by Dolphin Energy for the second time.
The Australian, who will move up to World Number Five with his victory, now has a record in Qatar of played twice, won twice, having previously won six years ago, making him the first player to win the title twice. It also fully justified his decision to rejoin The European Tour at the start of the season as he claimed his sixth Tour title.
The records tumbled on a spellbinding final day as he shaved two strokes off the course record, a feat which won him a BMW 650i coupe valued at $100,000. It was the lowest final round by the winner and his 20 under par total of 268 equalled the low aggregate set by Paul Lawrie in 1999.
His 61 was also the lowest final round by a winner since Jamie Spence shot 60 to win the 1992 European Masters, and, not surprisingly, it was Scott’s lowest ever round.
But perhaps the best indication of how well he played came from the runner-up Henrik Stenson, who shot a seven under par 65, which equalled the second lowest round of the week, to finish on 17 under par 271. He stayed in touch with Scott for much of the day but in the end simply got beaten but the better man.
“It's not often you go out and shoot 65 and lose by three to somebody who played in front of you,” he said. “I'm happy with the way I played and just take the hat off to Adam. That's fantastic, the best round around here. When somebody is playing like that, he is in the zone and he was just going forward.”
Scott started the final round three shots off the lead but shot out of the blocks with five birdies in the first five holes to overhaul the overnight leaders and put the pressure on their shoulders. And he simply kept his foot on the accelerator to keep his rivals in the rear view mirror.
Out in 30, he picked up another three birdies immediately after the turn but Stenson was holding on. A tenth birdie of the round on the 15th put the course record in sight and as he stood over a four foot birdie putt on the 16th, the magical figure of 59 popped into his head. That was the one putt he missed all day. He picked up his 11th birdie of the day on the par three 17th, holing from eight feet and that put the matter beyond any doubt.
“I just came out of the gates firing this afternoon,” explained Scott. “ To string off five birdies in a row was ideal, kept me right in the tournament from there, and to keep it going it put pressure on those guys who were leading. Suddenly they were chasing.
“This win has got me back in the swing of things quickly, and it is important to build on this momentum now. We've got a lot of big tournaments. There's two World Golf Championships and the Masters in the next two and a half months. So hopefully I can keep this form rolling and then get in the mix in those ones.”
His victory was worth €285,071 and lifted him to fourth on The European Tour Order of Merit, with Lee Westwood still on top having picked up a third top five in three starts this season. His fifth place was also his 11th top ten in his past 12 events.
Stenson has every reason to be confident as he heads to Dubai to defend his Dubai Desert Classic title next week after finishing runner-up and moving to second on the Order of Merit.
Schwartzel also performed well with a five under par 67 to claim fourth place on 15 under par, one shot ahead of overnight leader Johan Edfors, who carded a 70, but the outcome was never in doubt.