Date: December 01, 2013
Author: Martin Blake at Royal Sydney

McIlroy triumphs after duel in the sun

Rory McIlroy is the 2013 Emirates Australian Open champion after his birdie at the last hole gave him a one-shot win over Adam Scott. In a heartbreaking finish for the Australian, his tilt at the triple crown of home tournaments slipped away at the wonderful amphitheatre of the 18th hole, before thousands of people urging him on. He bombed his iron approach through the green into a swale, hit a poor chip that ran 20 metres past the flag, and ended up taking bogey after starting the final hole a shot in front. McIlroy was magnificent. He hit a pure short iron shot to five metres and presented with the sliver of an opportunity, he walked right through, rolling home his putt to the heart of the hole. The Northern Irishman won his first tournament of 2013 with a superb final-round 66. He did not make a bogey all day. Scott had begun with a four-shot lead but his advantage evaporated by the time McIlroy went eagle-birdie on the seventh and eight holes. The Australian hit back with a two-metre birdie on the ninth to regain the lead, and he held that one-shot lead right to the final green before his nerve failed him. Scott&aposs day began badly with a bogey at the first, after his shot from the front bunker went off the back of the green and into a swale. The Queenslander could not find any momentum and his putter was cold, leaving the door open for McIlroy. Queensland&aposs John Senden finished third at 11-under after a final-round 66, earning himself a spot in the British Open Championship at Royal Liverpool next year. Western Australia&aposs Brady Watt was the leading amateur, finishing at five-under par in a tie for 14th place.