(Reuters) – Fifteen years after his first victory at Riviera, Adam Scott won the Genesis Open in Los Angeles on Sunday, and this time his victory is official.
The Australian, a former Masters champion, overcame an early double-bogey to shoot one-under-par 70 and triumph by two shots over South Korean Sung Kang and Americans Matt Kuchar and Scott Brown.
Rory McIlroy, who started the final round tied for the lead with Scott and Kuchar, was not a factor after a triple-bogey at the same fifth hole that Scott bungled.
McIlroy tied for fifth, three shots behind Scott, while tournament host Tiger Woods finished last among those who made the cut, a whopping 22 strokes behind at a tournament he has never won.
The victory was extra special for former world No. 1 Scott, who had not triumphed on the PGA Tour for nearly four years as he tried to juggle his career with becoming a father of two.
“Everyone tells me I’m turning 40 this year. I don’t know if they’re insinuating that’s the beginning of the end,” he told reporters.
“I’m lucky at the moment. I’m very healthy as far as a golfing 39 year-old-goes.
“My career is in a good spot I guess. Even before winning this week, I feel physically and somewhat mentally I’m OK after 20 years out here.”
BIRDIE AT 17
Scott all but clinched victory when he sank a 10-foot birdie at the penultimate hole, and he parred the last to finish at 11-under 273 for his 14th official PGA Tour victory, a total that includes the 2013 Masters at Augusta National.
The total does not include his 36-hole result at Riviera in 2005, which was deemed unofficial after rain cut the tournament in half, although he still has the trophy at home.
Scott has also won 14 times internationally, including the Australian PGA Championship in December.
Riviera was his first event of 2020, and one he hopes will provide a launchpad to add to his single major championship before Father Time catches up.
“This has to be my year,” he said. “I can’t afford to let the next 10 years slip away. I have to make it happen now.
“It’s only going to get harder.
“The big goal now is to be a multiple major winner and I think the habit of winning is good for that.”
(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Christian Radnedge, Tom Hogue and Peter Cooney)