PALM BEACH GARDENS — Adam Scott won the Honda Classic on Sunday, and his smile was more relief than joy over ending the longest drought of his career.
Also, a small measure of satisfaction might come from the silence he hopes will follow. Yes, he still can win with a short putter.
In a tight duel with Sergio Garcia for the entire round at PGA National, Scott stayed out of the water and closed with par 70 for a one-shot victory at 9-under 271. It was his first title since the Colonial in May 2014, and his first time winning with a conventional putter since the 2010 Singapore Open.
Scott won in just his third start since a new rule took effect Jan. 1 that bans the anchored stroke typically used for the long putter that he had the past five years. Scott switched back for good at the Presidents Cup last year. This was his 10th start since then, and only twice has he finished out of the top 10.
"It's probably good for everybody who likes talking about (the ban), and therefore good for me because maybe we don't have to go over it too much anymore," Scott said of his victory. "It just reassures me I'm on the right track with the things I'm doing on the greens. If I can get better and better, then I like what's to come."
It was a two-man race all day between Scott and Garcia, the third-round co-leaders. Scott seized control when Garcia missed a short par putt on No. 11 and Scott hit a fairway bunker shot to 2 feet for birdie on the next hole.
Unlike Saturday, when Scott took a quadruple bogey on the par-3 15th with two shots into the water, he stayed dry.
The Bear Trap did in Garcia, who bogeyed 16 and 17 and finished 1-over 71. A 12-foot birdie putt at 18 only meant that Scott had to make a 2-foot par putt to win.
The last five times Garcia has led or shared the 54-hour lead on the PGA Tour, he played the final round over par, is a combined 12 over in those rounds and has no victories, the Golf Channel said.
"I know I can play better," Garcia said. "That's the good thing. Without feeling like I was swinging that great, I still managed to have a chance, so I'm happy with that.
"(Scott) played really, really solid. I played with him the last two days, and he looked awesome. "
Scott moved to No. 9 in the world, his highest ranking in 10 months.
"I want to feel somewhat relevant out here when it comes to being one of the best players in the world," he said. "That's just down to my results. "
LPGA: Lexi Thompson won her seventh tour title after a final-round 68 that completed a six-stroke victory over In Gee Chun (70) in the LPGA Thailand at Chonburi. Thompson, who led after the third round, totaled 20-under 268 to become the first American winner of the tournament. Jessica Korda of the United States (64) was seven shots back with defending champion Amy Yang (70). Seminole's Brittany Lincicome (75) was 4 over.