Scott gets better of Dougherty


Golf/Scandinavian Masters: Adam Scott got the better of Nick Dougherty to win the Scandinavian Masters at Barseback yesterday, despite a swashbuckling finish by the colourful young Englishman. Gordon Richardson reports from Malmo

Dougherty (21) lost to the Australian by six strokes in last year's Qatar Masters, but he finished only two behind his rival this time after coaxing in an 18-foot birdie putt at the last to match his rival's 69.

Scott, who banked €316,660 and moved to sixth on the money list, finished on 11 under par while Dougherty's 279 put him a stroke clear of his 2001 Walker Cup team-mate Luke Donald, who also birdied the last, for a 70, Andrew Coltart (68) and Robert Karlsson (69).

Dougherty, who began the tournament in a perilous 115th in the table, secured his European Tour card for next season, his last-gasp birdie proving to be worth a cool €86,000.

"A couple of shots worse and I wouldn't have been safe," he said. "I'm chuffed, but I kind of blew the tournament away in the third round - you can't afford to give Adam Scott two strokes."

Scott, who with his good friend Tiger Woods shares a coach in Butch Harmon, had not won since the Scottish PGA Championship at Gleneagles 12 months ago, and a first-round 82 at Sandwich en route to missing his third successive cut at last month's British Open had left him despairing.

That round contained no fewer than six three-putts, but Scott has worked hard and never once had a triple here, and afterwards he had high praise for Alastair McLean, his caddie.

"He helped Colin Montgomerie win here twice and he knows what it takes. He's so relaxed and calm, and it sort of rubs off," Scott said. "This has given my confidence a big boost going into US PGA championship (at Oak Hill in 10 days) and the final qualifying for the President's Cup.

"What happened at the Open really shook me up. Ben Curtis showed by winning that you just never know, though, and I'm looking forward to contending in majors now."

Scott also virtually ensured a place in the President's Cup team - the Ryder Cup-style contest between the US and the Rest of the World minus Europe, in South Africa during November.

Best of the Irish was Damien McGrane, who closed with a 71 to finish on 286, nine shots behind the winner. That was good enough for a share of 24th place and worth €17,765. Paul McGinley (70) and defending champion Graeme McDowell (71) were on 291, while Ronan Rafferty (75) was a shot back.