Date: November 27, 2016
Author: Mark Hayes

Aussies make belated charge

All week the huge galleries following Marc Leishman and Adam Scott wanted nothing more than a reason to roar.

Finally, albeit for a shorter span than they’d hoped, the Australian team finally gave the Kingston Heath crowd what they’d craved in the final round of fourball at the World Cup of Golf.

After 63 holes of – by their own lofty standards – little more than effective golf, ironically it clicked simultaneously on the 10th hole when the Victorian jammed his approach within 2.5m, only to see Scott finish inside a metre.

Scott nearly birdied the tough 11th, then was very unlucky to have his driver off the deck to the long par-five 12th run through the green and prevent another.

But when Leishman almost holed out on the 13th, played a spectacular bunker shot to close range on the 14th and then Scott thrilled the grandstand behind the 15th with a superb tee shot inside a metre, suddenly the famous links were abuzz.

Two more great approaches to the 15th in search of a fourth straight birdie proved in vain and there were to be no more en route to the clubhouse and a final-round 65 and tied ninth with an 11-under-par total.

But finally, even to the players themselves, they’d shown a glimpse of their best, as elusive as it had seemed for three and a half days.

“Yeah, it was nice to finally see a few putts drop and some red numbers on the leaderboard,” Leishman said.

“It’s definitely a lot more enjoyable out there today when you can play like that … it’s just unfortunate that we could start (like) that on Thursday.”

Scott conceded the Aussies, who began the day 10 shots off leader and eventual champion Denmark, didn’t realistically consider itself a chance at any stage on another day of incredible fourball scoring.

“It was just a slow start. Even daring to dream we birdie the whole back nine, it wasn’t going to be enough. We needed a faster start and we didn’t go out and birdie the first three or anything like that,” Scott said.

“We just tried to play the best we could from there on and a few went in, but there were a few `squirrely’ ones as well.”

Scott, who admitted he’d been “average” through the week, said the revised format and course had been warmly received by the field and predicted big things for the future of the event, which has now been played 58 times since its inception as the Canada Cup back in 1953.

“I’m sure there’s a place for it, especially if they keep taking it to venues of this calibre, everyone will be up for playing it.

“Hopefully the guys go away and tell everyone else how good a time they had and if they get the opportunity in the future to play, they won’t hesitate.”