Scott fires 61 to win Qatar Masters
BY Bruce Young | European PGA Tour | 2008 Qatar Masters | Round Four | 27 Jan 2008
Adam Scott produced a remarkable final round of 61 at the Qatar Masters in Doha to win the event for the second occasion and six years after the first. A combined weekend total of 18 under saw the current world number eight run away with the title and although the victory margin of three shots was less than the six of 2002, the win was perhaps more impressive given the brilliance of his round today.
Scott was playing in just his second event of the year having decided to forgo the opportunity to play the Mercedes-Benz Championship in Hawaii courtesy of his Shell Houston Open win last year. The decision to start in Abu Dhabi last week has certainly paid off as he not only wins the title and a beautiful BMW 6 Series for breaking the course record but he will also advance up the world rankings by at least two places.
Scott began the final round three shots behind the leader, Johan Edfors, but after opening with five consecutive birdies he took the lead and never looked back. He made the turn in 30 and at that point led by two over Henrik Stenson and by three over Edfors.
At the 10th Scott added his 7th birdie of the day when he pitched from behind the green to 5 feet and holed to move to seven under. At the 11th he hit a huge drive and pitched to 10 feet and made another birdie and holed another from 6 feet at the 12th to move to 9 under for the day. He missed two makeable chances at the 13th and 14th but holed a 25 foot putt at the 15th to move to 10 under and to 19 under for the tournament and a four shot lead over Stenson.
The 16th would perhaps cost him any chance of a magical round of 59. He drove it through the green at the reachable par four and although he chipped to four feet, he missed and he was then playing for the course record rather than a round in the 50’s. He wasn’t quite finished yet however.
His tee shot at the par three 17th finished 10 feet short and he holed the for his 11th birdie of the day and walked to the 18th tee knowing that an eagle could still secure him a 59 but a par would win him not only the tournament but a beautiful new BMW 6 Series for breaking the previous course record.
After a brilliant drive he could have reached the par five 18th but chose instead to take any dangers of the water out of play. He placed his second 90 yards short of the hole and although he hit a poor pitch to 30 feet he was able to two putt for par and his round of 61.
“That was one of, if not, the best round of my life,” he said after his victory. “I had a 62 at Muirfield Village last year in Jack’s tournament and that was very special but this is probably my best.”
“When I missed the putt on the 16th for birdie I did my maths and knew my chance of 59 was gone but I felt I still needed a birdie or two to make sure of winning the tournament. The birdie at the 17th was a bonus and even though I had a good yardage at the last to go for it, winning the tournament was more important.”
Stenson did all he could but could not match the brilliance of the Australian. He settled for the runner up placing and added to a very impressive record at this event. He has been a winner and twice runner up in three of his last four starts in this event and in the other finished seventh behind Retief Goosen last year.
In third place was the South African Charl Schwartzel while third round leader Edfors was unable to match the hot scoring of those who finished ahead but he completed a solid final round of 70 and a very good return to form after a year of struggle in 2007. Edfors finished 4th.
Of the other Australasians, Scott Strange finished 33rd, Peter O’Malley 42nd, Richard Green 60th and Michael Campbell 70th.
The European Tour now moves back down the Gulf to Dubai for this week’s Dubai Classic and although Scott will not be there, the world number one and likely Buick Invitational winner Tiger Woods will be.