Date: December 01, 2013
Author: OneAsia

McIlroy tears up the script to win Down Under

SYDNEY, Dec. 1 – Rory McIlroy tore up the script with a birdie on the last to win OneAsia s Emirates Australian Open by a stroke on Sunday, breaking the hearts of thousands of fans who turned out hoping to see local hero Adam Scott complete a rare Triple Crown. Scott (71) led by four overnight and was hot favourite to add the Emirates Australian Open to the Australian PGA Championship presented by Coca-Cola and the Australian Masters he won earlier this month, but McIlroy fired a six-under-par 66 to ruin the fairytale. The Northern Irishman finished 18 under par around the the 6,344-metre (6,938-yard) Royal Sydney Golf Club course to record his first win of a turbulent year marked by a split with his management company and a change of equipment manufacturer. The 23-year-old clenched both fists and gazed skyward as the winning putt dropped, while a stoic Scott looked on impassively. I am really pleased I was able to take on one of the best players in the world down the stretch and come out on top, said McIlroy. He’s a phenomenal golfer, a great competitor and probably an even better guy. I feel a bit sorry that I m the one to ruin the Triple Crown for him, but I m happy for myself.” John Senden (66) finished third at 11 under while Rhein Gibson and Bryden MacPherson shared fourth after posting identical 69s. The trio also booked a place in Britain&aposs 2014 Open Championship at Royal Liverpool (Hoylake) as the top three finishers not already exempt. As the tournament was the last individual event of the OneAsia season, Australian Matthew Griffin clinched the 2013 Order of Merit title race after closing with a 70 that left him three under for the championship. Griffin, winner of the SK Telecom Open in Korea in May, after a breakthrough victory on OneAsia at the 2012 Charity High1 Resort Open, did not miss a cut all year and earned U.S. $257,480. I set myself the goal of winning the title so obviously I m delighted with the result, Griffin said. It’s a great tour and I look forward to winning more on OneAsia. Scott started the Emirates Australian Open on Thursday morning with six birdies-in-a-row en-route to a course-record 62 and never relinquished the lead until the last stroke of the championship on Sunday. Up by one on the par-four 18th, he overhit his approach into a green-side swale while McIlroy stiffed his to around 12 feet. After overhitting his chip, Scott putted to within tap-in range and holed out, leaving McIlroy with the putt that broke his year-long drought. I m disappointed to make an error at the last and open the door for Rory, Scott said. I was kind of trying to keep it closed all day the best I could (but) nothing was going my way on the greens today. I could have put this thing away, I think, early on if the putter was behaving how it should have like it did the rest of the week but I just misjudged into the last and a player as good as Rory is going to take that opportunity. Scott, who in April became the first Australian to win the U.S. Masters, already has a career Australian Triple Crown, but a win on Sunday would have made him only the second player after Robert Allenby (2005) to claim all three in a season. It’s been a great year (but) obviously I didn&apost want to finish like that, he said. If I didn&apost play any good the first few days and played great today and finished second I&aposd be pretty chuffed going into Christmas, so that&aposs how I should look at it. I&aposll get over this tonight and look forward to a few weeks rest and get ready to go next year. OneAsia s next event is the third edition of the Ryder Cup-style Dongfeng Nissan Cup at CTS Tycoon Club in Shenzhen from December 12 – 15, when Team China takes on an Asia-Pacific select side.