Date: November 23, 2012

Grant Report – Masters win a boost for Scott

Adam Scott says his win in the Australian Masters at Kingston Heath last weekend will be a serious boost for the Queenslander’s bid to earn his first major.

The victory was Scott’s first for the year and, while it did nothing to assuage his British Open meltdown, he feels heading into the new year with a win behind him is important.

The World No.5 defeated defending champion Ian Poulter as the Englishman crashed over the final round with some uncharacteristic blunders.

Scott fired a final round five under par 67 to finish 17 under the card on 271, four shots ahead of Poulter.

The pair swapped the lead over the front nine before Scott steadied on the homeward trip with Poulter stumbling to  three bogeys in six holes.

Scott said that since his British Open disaster when he relinquished a four-shot lead with four holes to play in July, this was the first time since that he felt confident.

"I hadn’t quite got back in that position until today but I felt good out there," Scott said.

"I just had to trust that all the work I’d put into my game was going to hold up and to not get in my own way is the big thing – not let thoughts of what happened at the Open or any other negative thoughts come into play."

The win was Scott’s second in Australian after his 2009 Australian Open victory but it kept alive his record of winning at least one tournament each year since 2001.

He lost Australian Masters play-offs in 2002 and 2003 but this success will be a key part of the build-up to his US Masters attack.

"Everything else is part of the process to getting there," Scott said. "Winning here is an important part of that winning-a-major process."

Poulter certainly helped him along at Kingston Heath, the British star making two basic mistakes, one of which he described as a "fatal error".

At the par-five 12th Poulter hit his his tee shot into a fairway bunker, then he caught the lip of the trap with his second as the ball tumbled into another bunker.

"It wasn’t the fact that I was being overly aggressive," Poulter said. "That lip wasn’t in play providing I hit an okay shot.

"I didn’t hit an okay shot (but) I would hit (the same club) 100 times out of 100. It wasn’t a mistake in club selection, it was a poor swing."

He dropped another shot at the 14th but his fate was sealed, almost comically, at the 17th when he stretched to avoid Scott’s putting line for what was to be a tap-in. Except he missed.

However Poulter said Scott deserved his win after firing rounds of 67 on the final two days.

"All credit to Adam to go out there and shoot five under," Poulter said.

"I did make a couple of mistakes. Adam, he played very solid and forced me into a couple of silly mistakes, but he’s a worthy winner how he’s played today."

New Zealanders Gareth Paddison and Mark Brown tied for third on nine under while Queensland’s Matthew Guyatt, who led the first two rounds, shared 10th.

By: Robert Grant