To say the Florida Swing has gotten off to a crazy start would be an understatement.
Last week, Adam Scott won the Honda Classic despite recording a quadruple bogey 7 on the par 3 15th on Saturday. He became just the second golfer to win an event while having a quad bogey on his card at any point during the week, and the only one to ever do it on the weekend.
Fast forward one week, and once again Scott found himself in the winners circle despite some unsteady play at times. This time, a string of two double bogeys in a three hole stretch left him six shots off the lead and seemingly left for dead. Scott once again found a way to bounce back and come out of what turned out to be a crazy final round Sunday with the win.
When the day started though, it seemed to be a lock that 54-hole leader Rory Mcllroy would storm his way to victory. He failed to record a single birdie on the front nine though, and bogeys at seven and nine quickly let seemingly half the field back in. Quickly, Bubba Watson, Phil Mickelson, and Danny Willett all found themselves either in a tie for, or close to the lead. Still though, Scott was largely an afterthought despite birdies at six and eight.
Once the final three groups hit the back nine, everything went out the window. Scott birdied four out of his first five holes, including three in a row. After he made birdie at the 12th he found himself in a tie for the lead, something that seemed impossible just seven holes ago when he was six shots back.
“I told him, ‘We gave four [strokes] to them last week and still won.’ I said, ‘Come on we can still do this,’” said Scott’s caddie David Clark said. “We knew how tough the back nine could be.”
Turned out that Clark was dead on the money. The back nine proved to be a heavyweight fight for all of the final three groups and Scott was the last man standing. Phil found the water at 10 and made a mess of 18 to finish three back. Willett failed to make birdie on 17 and then found the water off the tee on 18 to finish two back. The only one that seemingly had a chance to catch Scott late was Bubba who, except for a bogey at the 14th, played the back nine without much mistake. He birdied 17 to get within one, and after Scott’s tee shot ended up behind a tree on 18, it seemed as though a playoff was around the corner. Scott got the ball around the tree but the ball seemed destined to end up in the water right of the green. Somehow, the ball stayed up and Scott was able to get up and down for his par save for the win. It was a fitting way to finish off the win that was anything but pretty.
”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.”
For the 54 hole leader Mcllroy, it was yet another week early in his 2016 campaign that he couldn’t close and found himself struggling on a Sunday.
“It’s frustrating because it’s two out of the last three weeks,” McIlroy said. “I was leading the golf tournament with 16 holes to play in Riviera. I was leading this golf tournament going into the back nine, and to not get the job done in either two of those instances is very frustrating.”
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