Friday, December 15, 2017
Golf

Adam Scott takes Doral for second straight win

DORAL — Adam Scott faced a daunting challenge, a six-shot deficit with 13 holes remaining on a course that was playing tougher than it had at any point during the Cadillac Championship.

After overcoming that, the Australian needed to survive two brushes with big trouble on the final hole to finish the job.

Scott won for the second straight week, shooting a final-round 3-under 69 to win the season's first World Golf Championships event by one shot over Bubba Watson (68) at 12-under 276.

Scott hasn't finished lower than second in any of his past three starts.

"Everything fell the right way for me (Sunday)," he said.

Danny Willett (69) and third-round leader Rory McIlroy (74) were 10 under. Phil Mickelson (70) was 9 under, and Jimmy Walker shot the round of the day, 6-under 66, to finish 8 under.

With course owner and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump arriving by helicopter and greeting fans as he drove around in a cart, there was plenty of drama away from the fairways and greens.

Scott ensured there was a ton on the grass as well. Two double bogeys over three holes on the front side seemed to send his round into a tailspin. But he got hot at just the right time. After the second double, at the par-4 fifth, he birdied six of his next nine holes.

"It was such a challenge out there," he said. "I knew if I could just get a couple before the turn, maybe I'll have a chance."

He had to sweat out the last two holes.

Scott's tee ball on 17 found a bunker while Watson, on the green ahead, made birdie to get within one. Scott eventually saved par and headed to the final hole with a one-shot lead. Then he put his tee shot in the right rough, a skinny palm tree impeding his path to the green. So he went left, around the tree but toward the water. That shot somehow caught enough thick grass on a sharp slope to stop before getting wet.

"I was so lucky for it to stay up inside the hazard line," Scott said. "When you're that lucky, you better get them up and down."

Scott chipped to 6 feet, made the par putt, and moments later knew the win was his.

McIlroy, who began the day with a three-shot lead, didn't make a birdie until the 16th hole. "I didn't take advantage of the holes I should have," he said.

Watson has finished second or third at Doral four times in the past five years. "I gave it a good effort," he said. "What I'm working on in my head is working out. Right now I've got the energy and the mind-set to play some decent golf."

LPGA: Ha Na Jang enhanced her growing reputation as one of the hottest players on the tour by winning the HSBC Champions by four strokes in Singapore. The 23-year-old South Korean, who led after the third round, fired six birdies and an eagle in a final round of 7-under 65 to finish at 19-under 269 for her second title. Jang won her first title at the Coates Championship last month in Ocala. Pornanong Phatlum, shot a bogey-free 68 to take second. Seminole's Brittany Lincicome (72) finished 3 over.

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