Adam Scott outlasted Sergio Garcia to win the Honda Classic at PGA National by a single shot. It was his first victory since moving back to a short putter.
In an event that turned into a two horse race on Sunday, Adam Scott came out on top. He opened with a birdie but was caught by Sergio Garcia when the Australian stumbled to two bogeys around the turn. But Scott moved back in front when Garcia missed a short putt on the 11th and the Australian played a superb fairway bunker shot on the 12th to set up a birdie.
The 35-year-old Aussie led by one approaching the notorious stretch of holes from 15-17 at PGA National; “the Bear Trap.” On Saturday Scott had made a quadruple bogey 7 at the 15th so he must have felt considerable nerves when he stood on the tee. But he kept his calm and concentration and found the green safely.
The lead remained one stroke until the treacherous par-3 17th where Garcia dropped another shot. Scott took a two-stroke advantage to the 72nd hole and, although the Spaniard birdied the last, Adam Scott outlasted Sergio Garcia for a classic win.
3 Talking points from The Honda Classic
1 – This was Adam Scott’s 12th PGA Tour title and his first win since moving back to the short putter. Since he made the switch for last year’s Presidents Cup, Scott has played 10 events in which he has only twice finished outside the top-10. The victory has pushed him back into the World’s Top-10 (ninth.)
He is the first player since Phil Mickelson in the 2009 Tour Championship to win a PGA Tour event having carded a quadruple bogey.
2 – Sergio Garcia had a chance to win and could have put the pressure on the Australian at the 16th. But, from the fairway just 160 yards out, Garcia played a poor approach that came up well short of the green. He was unable to get up-and-down and Scott, who also bogeyed the hole, remained one ahead.
This was Sergio’s sixth runner-up finish on the PGA Tour since he last won an event back in 2012 (the Wyndham Championship.)
“I hit a bad shot,” he said of the 16th. “Obviously I got a little quick, but when you don’t feel you’re swinging that great, in key moments, it’s tough.”
3 – It was a key week for Graeme McDowell. By finishing alone in fifth place, the Northern Irishman held on to his place in the top-10 on the FedEx Cup rankings and secured a spot in next week’s WGC–Cadillac Championship. McDowell is up to 55th place on the Official World Golf Ranking.
Graeme McDowell on the flop shot:
The Honda Classic
PGA National, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
Purse $6,100,000, par 70
1 Adam Scott (Aus) 70 65 66 70 271 $1,098,000
2 Sergio Garcia (Esp) 65 69 67 71 272 $658,800
T3 Blayne Barber (USA) 70 66 69 70 275 $353,800
T3 Justin Thomas (USA) 69 69 68 69 275 $353,800
5 Graeme McDowell (NIR) 71 69 67 69 276 $244,000
T6 Rickie Fowler (USA) 66 66 74 71 277 $211,975
T6 Vijay Singh (Fij) 69 70 68 70 277 $211,975
T8 Billy Horschel (USA) 73 70 66 69 278 $183,000
T8 William McGirt (USA) 66 72 73 67 278 $183,000
T10 Scott Brown (USA) 70 67 70 72 279 $146,400
T10 Sung Kang (Kor) 71 69 71 68 279 $146,400
T10 Luke List (USA) 73 65 70 71 279 $146,400
T10 John Senden (Aus) 71 66 71 71 279 $146,400
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage