Adam Scott claims dramatic one-shot victory at Doral
By Keith Jackson
Last Updated: 07/03/16 11:18am
Adam Scott claimed a remarkable one-shot victory at the WGC-Cadillac Championship as Rory McIlroy endured a dreadful final day at Doral.
Scott recovered from a horrific start to post a three-under 69 and pip Bubba Watson to the title, while overnight leader McIlroy made only one birdie in a 74 that left him two shots off the pace.
Danny Willett and Phil Mickelson both hauled themselves into contention to add to the drama, but it was Scott who emerged victorious despite making double-bogeys at two of the first five holes on the feared Blue Monster layout.
McIlroy struggled for rhythm from the moment he put his opening drive into one of many bunkers he visited throughout the day, although he weathered the storm in the early stages and ground out six straight pars before making his first bogey for 41 holes at the seventh.
Scott found water at the third and the fifth to slip six shots behind the Northern Irishman, but responded with an astonishing run of six birdies in nine holes, including three in a row to start the back nine.
The Australian, winner of last week's Honda Classic, suffered a nervy moment when he shanked his bunker escape at the 16th, but recovered to save his par and then shaved the cup with a birdie attempt at the next.
With Bubba Watson safely in the clubhouse on 11 under having closed with an impressive 68, Scott had a one-stroke lead on the 18th but blocked his drive too far right and left himself behind a palm tree with no clear view of the green.
Scott then enjoyed a stunning slice of good fortune when his bold second appeared to be heading for the water on the left, but his ball took a kind, soft bounce and held up in the rough just a few feet short of the hazard.
The former Masters champion took advantage of his lucky break as he pitched to seven feet, and his putt for back-to-back victories - and his second World Golf Championship title - found the centre of the cup.
Watson birdied the first and roared into contention when he drained a monster 60-foot putt for an amazing eagle at the eighth, where McIlroy found the water with his second before scrambling a valiant par-five.
Watson picked up another shot at 12 only to give it back after an errant drive at 14, and the left-hander put pressure on Scott with a well-crafted birdie at the 17th before getting up and down for par at the last.
McIlroy's frequent visits to the sand cost him another shot at the ninth, and another shot went at 13 before he gave himself an outside shot at the title with a nice up-and-down from sand for his lone birdie of the day at 16.
But two closing pars left him tied for third with Willett, who birdied seven and nine to turn in 33 and got to four under for the round with his fifth birdie of the day at the 16th.
However, the Yorkshireman pulled his drive at 18 into the water and eventually did well to limit the damage to a bogey-five as he closed on 10 under.
Mickelson stayed within striking distance of the leaders until he drove into water at the 10th and ran up a costly bogey-six and, after a crowd-pleasing birdie at 16, he bogeyed the last to return a 70 and finish three behind the champion.
Jimmy Walker vaulted into sixth place with a superb 66 - the low round of the day - while Paul Casey was two shots further back on six under after a commendable four-under 68.