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Great Scott secures Australian PGA Championship title

Great Scott secures Australian PGA Championship title

Local hero Adam Scott secured his second Australian PGA Championship title after edging out Michael Hendry in a thrilling final round battle on the Gold Coast.

Adam Scott

The 2013 champion produced a closing 69 to win by two shots but he was pushed all the way by the New Zealander, who finished alone in second after closing his fourth round with back to back bogeys.

A brilliant burst of scoring around the turn had seen Hendry, who struggled with a rib injury over the weekend, take the outright lead on a topsy turvy afternoon.

But the momentum swung Scott's way when he followed up a birdie on the 14th with a magnificent eagle at the 15th to move two shots clear.

There were still twists and turns to come, though, as Hendry cut the deficit to a single stroke with a birdie at the 16th before carding a bogey on the very next hole to give Scott breathing space once more.

Home favourite Scott looked to have let Hendry back in when he missed the green at the 17th but he managed to save par thanks to a brilliant recovery shot.

And after Hendry carded another bogey on the 18th, former Masters Champion Scott clinched his 11th European Tour victory despite dropping a shot on the last.

Australians Cameron Davis, Min Woo Lee, Wade Ormsby and Nick Flanagan finished in a tie for third alongside halfway leader Carl Yuan on ten under par, while two-time defending champion Cameron Smith was in a share of tenth on seven under.

Scott was delighted with his victory. He said: "I'm pretty stoked, actually. I kind of grinded it out this week and I feel like I outsmarted the golf course a little bit, which feels good, and it was good enough to beat everyone.

"It's been a long time between drinks for me and maybe only once or twice did the thought cross my mind that I’ll never win again. 

"It feels very good to win here, especially to finish the year off kind of winning at home.

"I think it’s very difficult to win. I’m on the wrong side of this age thing now where these young guys are really good and I played some pretty good golf a couple of weeks this year and fell short. You know, record‑setting scores.

"I think the courses are getting tougher, guys are playing good. Just being all right doesn’t really get you in, you’ve got to be pretty much sensational."

Scott began the day with a one stroke lead and stretched that advantage to two shots at the earliest opportunity on Sunday, notching a close range birdie at the first to move to 11 under.

But a run of six straight pars opened the door for the chasing pack to close the gap and when he dropped his first shot of the day after finding water at the eighth, he slipped back into a share of the lead.

He was briefly knocked off the top of the leaderboard altogether as Hendry made a birdie at the ninth to take the outright lead.

Scott closed out his front nine with a four foot birdie putt to regain a share of the lead but Hendry's birdie from around 15 feet at the tenth saw him return to the top of the pile.

As the chasing pack began to charge, Scott made a vital par save after getting into tree trouble off the tee at the 12th to stay in the hunt.

And he joined Hendry at the summit again with a ten foot birdie putt at the 14th before jumping into a two shot lead with an eagle from a similar distance at the long 15th.

With Hendry's challenge fading fast, there was little pressure on Scott as he stood at the 18th tee, and he made a bogey to finish the week on 13 under and return to the winner's circle on the European Tour for the first time since 2016.

Hendry admitted he had been concerned he might not make it through Sunday's round due to his injury.

He said: "The warm‑up was terrible. I honestly thought I wasn't going to get through the round.

"So quite honestly, my goal today was just to get through 18 holes and finish the event regardless of what the score was. Lo and behold, I hit it really well.

"It was painful all day and I just kept trying to basically man up and hit the shot. Maybe that was the thing that I needed to take my attention away from what was happening on the golf course.

"It was more about trying to make good swings under a little bit of pain, and I made a lot of good swings.

"I'm pretty happy with the way I played considering physically what was going on.

"It’s a shame that I didn't end up winning, but when you're not 100 per cent and you’re trying to chase down one of the best players in the world, you're up against it."