McIlroy’s charge fails to appear as Adam Scott takes Barclays title
Ulster man shoots disappointing final round of 72 that gives him a top 25 finish
Adam Scott of Australia shot a final round 66 to take the title in New Jersey. Photograph: Reuters
Adam Scott, the US Masters champion, deployed stealth – and was given a helping hand by the failings of others – to claim the Barclays championship at Liberty National in New Jersey last night, the first of the US Tour’s season ending FedEx Cup playoff series. The Australian shot a final round 66 for 273, 11-under-par, that gave him a one-stroke winning margin over a quartet of players that included Tiger Woods.
Woods, the world number one, was troubled by a back injury that, on occasion, had him grimacing in agony. Woods birdied the 16th and 17th to remain in contention to the death but ultimately came up a shot shy of a play-off, finishing alongside US Open champion Justin Rose, Canadian Graham De Laet and Gary Woodland on 274.
Of the shot on the 13th into the hazard that had him fall to his knee and resulted in a bogey, Woods said: “It accentuated it, definitely a spasm . . . I felt great until that tee shot [on 13].” The injury means that Woods is now a doubt for this week’s Deutsche Bank championship in Boston.
Scott had a hat-trick of birdies from the fifth to galvanise his challenge and added further birdies on the 14th and 16th, from 10 feet, to finish with a bogey-free 66 that enabled him to claim a second tournament win of the season.
“I can’t believe it. I just played a good round, didn’t think I had a chance. Things went my way a lot,” said Scott, who dedicated the win to his new born niece Olivia.
Rose actually had a 25-foot birdie putt on the 18th to win the tournament, but ran it four feet past and then missed the par putt. “I liked the look of it, got too aggressive. I felt it was a putt to win the tournament,” said Rose. And Woodland had a 15-footer on the 18th to force a play-off, only to roll it by.
The final round charge never materialised for Rory McIlroy, as a finishing round 72 – for 279, five-under-par – left the 24-year-old Ulsterman with a top-25 finish. McIlroy, who defends his Deutsche Bank championship in Boston this coming week, had looked to get off to a hot start in his bid to challenge for the title, the first of the season-ending FedEx Cup playoff series, but reeled off nine successive pars on the front nine.
Although he grabbed a birdie on the 10th, where he holed from 10 feet, McIlroy pushed his drive on the 11th to suffer his first bogey of the round. McIlroy rebounded with a birdie on the 12th, hitting a lob wedge approach to 25 feet and holing the putt, only to suffer a double-bogey six on the 325 Par 4 16th where, in attempting to drive the green, he put his tee-shot into the water hazard.
McIlroy wasn’t alone in failing to see his final day challenge pay off. British Open champion Phil Mickelson, who produced a run of six birdies in an eight-hole sequence, threatened to force his way into contention only to come up short. Mickelson shot a finishing 65 for 275, nine-under, to leapfrog his way up the leaderboard into a top-five finish.