ADAM SCOTT has emerged victorious after a two day ding-dong battle with England’s Ian Poulter to claim the 2012 Talisker Australian Masters at the Kingston Heath Golf Club.
The pair played head to head over the weekend final rounds and though Poulter pulled ahead by a stroke on Saturday it was Scott who overhauled him on the front nine on Sunday then showed a clean pair of heals down the home stretch.
The world No.5 shot a final round 5-under 67 to end the tournament at 17-under, four clear of Poulter (72), who made a couple of simple and uncharacteristic errors on the closing holes to finish four strokes further back on 13-under.
Scott donned the traditional Australian Masters gold jacket, but admitted later what he really wants is a green one.
“This [Australian Masters win] has been a long time coming. I had some close calls about ten years ago, so this is pretty sweet to be in the gold jacket and hold this trophy that I’ve been admiring since I was a little kid,” Scott said.
“Winning the Australian Open was like getting the monkey off my back [of no home soil championship wins] a couple of years ago, but this is certainly something I’ve wanted to achieve for a long time.
“Maybe I can set the theme of winning jackets and turn it green next year before I come back to defend.”
After some near misses this year, most famously at the British Open, Scott finally had a win under his belt.
“It’s the only week of the year, maybe one other, where I’ve put four really solid rounds together and the result shows. I’m really, really happy with what I was able to do this week, and especially today,” he said
“It was great to be a part of it. The way Ian and I played the last two days was the highest standard of golf there is. You could have brought anyone down here and they would have had to be on their game to play that way.”
Scott reiterated his main focus is on winning a Major, with Augusta National and the US Masters the first port of call next year.
“I’ve said for the last two years that’s all I’m out here to do and everything else is part of the process to getting there, and winning here is an important part of that winning a Major process. Winning is a habit, it’s tough to win out there, so if you can get in the habit of winning – I’d like to say regularly – but it’s really hard to win.
“This is part of the process for me and confidence building going into next season and what I do leading up to Augusta, but absolutely I focus everything about the Majors and try to play my best golf on those four weeks.”
Defending champion Poulter put on a superb display of golf on Saturday, and for much of the final round, but didn’t quite keep it going till the end.
“Yeah, it was a lot of fun,” Poulter said. “Two of us kind of went away from the pack there I guess yesterday and for a while out there it was obviously the two of us.
“It was a lot of fun, a lot of exchanges at birdies on the front 9 to-ing and fro-ing. He stayed tight for a time, I made a couple of errors on the back nine, overly aggressive into a couple of pins and paid the price really for that.”
“It’s a good week, it was good to try and defend. I’m obviously just a little disappointed that I wasn’t slipping another jacket on,” Poulter said.
New Zealanders Gareth Paddison (68) and Mark Brown (69) moved up the leaderboard on the final day to share third on 9-under, while Queenslander Adam Crawford shot the round of the day, a 7-under 65, to finish in 5th position.
Australia’s US Champions Tour star performer – and a former Australian Masters champion – Peter Senior had a fantastic weekend, finishing with a pair of 68’s to share 6th position with another Kiwi in Michael Hendry (69) on 4-under while Graeme McDowell (71) and David Bransdon (72) finished in 8th position on 2-under.2012 Talisker Australian Masters Final Results