Triple bogey costs Rory McIlroy as Adam Scott prevails at Riviera

New world number one dropped a costly four shots in two holes on the front nine

Rory McIlroy hits his second shot from the rough on the second hole during the final round of the Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club. Photo: Ryan Kang/AP Photo

Rory McIlroy hits his second shot from the rough on the second hole during the final round of the Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club. Photo: Ryan Kang/AP Photo

 

After retaking his place at world number one only a week ago Rory McIlroy was hoping to apply the icing to the cake in the final round of the Genesis Open at Riviera on Sunday but he was left to rue four dropped shots in the space of two holes as Adam Scott fired a final round 71 to win for a second time at the famous venue, finishing at 11 under with McIlroy three behind in a tie for fifth.

McIlroy began the day tied for the lead alongside Scott and Matt Kuchar and a birdie at the first and three pars after that had the four-time Major winner in good stead in what was the 12th final grouping he has been a part of since the start of 2018, a period in which he has won five times.

Capturing his first win of 2020 at Riviera, so steeped in history and synonymous with Ben Hogan, would have been that little bit more special as well for McIlroy who is a keen historian of the game.

But then came the fifth hole. After both McIlroy and Scott missed the green left, they then followed each other in failing to get their first pitches up onto the putting surface. And it only got worse.

McIlroy’s fourth left him with 20 feet for bogey. Three putts later he would leave the green with a treble bogey seven, tumbling out of a tie for the lead and back into the chasing pack two shots behind. Alongside him, Scott could only manage one better, dropping one behind what was now a three-way tie for the lead.

All of a sudden a host of players had notions of victory while McIlroy was in freefall. After that disastrous treble, a bogey would follow at the Par 3 sixth, while Scott birdied and, in the space of 15 minutes or so, McIlroy had gone from a tie for the lead to three shots behind.

Scott waves to the gallery after making his putt at the third hole. Photo: David Swanson/EPA
Scott waves to the gallery after making his putt at the third hole. Photo: David Swanson/EPA

But with the California wind strengthening and Riviera baring its’ teeth the final round was becoming more a case of holding on rather than forging ahead.

With eight holes to play there were 14 players within three of the lead and, with a birdie at the Par 5 11th while Scott missed a good chance of his own, McIlroy was back in the hunt and only two behind his playing partner.

But Scott’s resilience was ultimately what paid off. After saving par from 10 feet at the 12th he followed that up with a beautiful approach and the birdie putt to match at the difficult Par 4 13th to move two clear of Max Homa and four ahead of McIlroy whose race was run after a bogey at the same hole.

Even when things looked to be going wrong for the Australian at the 15th he pulled off a deft flop shot from left of the green to limit the damage to just a bogey and stay ahead of Homa, Sung Kang, Joel Dahmen and Scott Brown who were all making late charges.

But in the end they could not get close enough as Scott sealed the deal with a birdie at the 17th and a closing par for an impressive victory.

Final leaderboard (USA unless stated, par 71):

273 Adam Scott (Aus) 72 64 67 70

275 Scott Brown 71 68 68 68, Sung Kang (Kor) 69 67 70 69, Matt Kuchar 64 69 70 72

276 Joel Dahmen 68 71 66 71, Rory McIlroy (NIrl) 68 67 68 73, Max Homa 72 69 65 70, Hideki Matsuyama (Jpn) 71 72 64 69, Bryson DeChambeau 68 70 69 69

277 Dustin Johnson 72 66 67 72, Talor Gooch 70 72 64 71, Chez Reavie 69 68 71 69

278 Harold Varner III 67 68 69 74, Vaughn Taylor 69 67 74 68, James Hahn 68 70 70 70, Kyoung-hoon Lee (Kor) 67 73 69 69

279 Wyndham Clark 67 68 72 72, Russell Henley 67 69 68 75, Jon Rahm (Spa) 70 68 69 72, Patrick Cantlay 68 72 71 68, Scott Piercy 70 69 70 70, Rafael Cabrera-Bello (Spa) 68 69 72 70

280 Brian Stuard 72 68 69 71, Xander Schauffele 72 70 69 69, Sam Burns 73 68 69 70

281 Carlos Ortiz (Mex) 68 70 71 72, Collin Morikawa 73 67 68 73, Adam Hadwin (Can) 71 71 69 70, Sebastian Munoz (Col) 69 69 70 73

282 JT Poston 69 72 70 71, Luke List 71 68 68 75, Scottie Scheffler 69 72 71 70, Patrick Rodgers 71 71 70 70, Ryan Moore 71 71 69 71, Matthew Fitzpatrick (Eng) 71 70 68 73, Cameron Tringale 74 69 67 72

283 Denny McCarthy 69 72 70 72, Sergio Garcia (Spa) 70 70 71 72, Andrew Landry 68 72 70 73, Paul Casey (Eng) 69 69 70 75, Lanto Griffin 71 70 69 73, Si Woo Kim (Kor) 69 69 72 73

284 Brooks Koepka 69 73 68 74, Abraham Ancer (Mex) 76 67 70 71, Marc Leishman (Aus) 70 72 68 74, Martin Laird (Sco) 71 71 70 72

285 Adam Schenk 67 73 71 74, Pat Perez 73 70 69 73, Brian Harman 70 69 74 72, Martin Trainer 72 71 68 74

286 Tony Finau 72 71 71 72, Bud Cauley 74 69 70 73, J.B. Holmes 69 69 76 72, Joseph Bramlett 74 69 68 75, Patrick Reed 68 73 71 74

287 Steve Stricker 72 71 71 73, Justin Rose (Eng) 69 69 74 75, Brendon Todd 73 70 71 73

288 Rory Sabbatini (Svk) 72 68 74 74, Alex Noren (Swe) 71 70 72 75, Charles Howell III 77 66 75 70, Jordan Spieth 72 70 70 76

290 J.J. Spaun 73 69 73 75

292 Jason Dufner 75 68 76 73, Kyle Stanley 71 70 78 73, Tyler Duncan 73 69 79 71

294 Ryan Palmer 71 70 81 72

295 Tiger Woods 69 73 76 77

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