Scott ends three-year title drought in stunning fashion
Adam Scott is back in a big way just months after confessing his mind wandered to whether he would win again against the world's best during a three-year winless stretch.
The classy Aussie beat the game's finest to win the Genesis Invitational in Los Angeles on Monday morning (Australian time) at the revered Riviera Country Club.
Scott's fighting final round one-under-par 70 left him at 11-under and took him to the summit at a tournament where he beat the world's top six players as well as Tiger Woods.
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Scott (72-64-67-70) outdueled golf's world No.1 Rory McIlroy, who tripped early in his round with a triple bogey and carded a 73 as his playing partner.
"It's amazing. I love this place," Scott said greenside after the two-stroke win.
"I'm stoked with this. This feels very, very special."
The Aussie entered the event as world No.14 but will be on his way to nudging back into the top 10 with this superb victory.
Scott's drought-breaking tournament win at the Australian PGA on the Gold Coast just before Christmas really has been the springboard he predicted it could be.
This was back-to-back titles because the father-of-two had taken a lengthy family break while also diligently returning to practice for a big assault on 2020.
It was Scott's first win on the PGA Tour since his back-to-back wins in Florida in early 2016 and over the best field assembled for an event this year.
After his win on the Gold Coast, Scott analysed just what he hoped the victory vibes would do for his game.
"It's big for the confidence. You win and you feel like you're never going to lose again so you want to run with it," Scott said.
"Not only have I seen what a win at the end of 2012 in Australia did for me but I've seen Rory win in '13 (at the Australian Open) and go on to have an amazing 2014 and Jordan Spieth do the same."
Rory McIlroy won the British Open and US PGA in 2014 and American Jordan Spieth celebrated a Masters-US Open double in 2015. The successes flowed after victories in the previous Australian summer just as an Australian Masters win in 2012 flowed into Scott's own Masters triumph at Augusta in 2013.
At 39, the surge of reinforcement this gives to Scott is immense because it tells him he is on the right track with his game and preparation.
"Maybe once or twice the thought did cross my mind that I'll never win again," Scott said of his three years without a win worldwide.
"I'm on the wrong side of this age thing now where these young guys are really good and I fell short playing some pretty good golf a couple weeks (last year).
"Just being all right doesn't really get it done, you've got to be pretty much sensational."
Scott was that good when it mattered in the final round.
He curled in a super birdie putt from over 4m on the 13th hole to take a two-shot lead.
He made an excellent up-and-down for a bogey with a nerveless long-swing flop shot on the 15th but sealing the deal came at the par five 17th.
Scott played a lovely short pitch over bunkers for his third shot and sunk the putt for a birdie to re-establish his two-stroke buffer.
Scott's 14th PGA Tour victory lifted him equal with Bruce Crampton (14) among Australian-born players across history and six behind Greg Norman (20).