Golf: Adam Scott wins Genesis Invitational, Tiger Woods stumbles to last place

LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Adam Scott fired a one-under-par 70 on Sunday (Feb 16) to win the Genesis Invitational, and this time the Australian’s victory at Riviera Country Club is official.

On a day when world No. 1 Rory McIlroy fired a two-over-par 73 and tournament host Tiger Woods stumbled to a six-over 77 to finish last, Scott countered two bogeys and a double-bogey with five birdies to build an 11-under total of 273.

He finished two strokes in front of South Korea’s Kang Sung and Americans Scott Brown and Matt Kuchar.

“It’s a very special win this week,” the 39-year-old Scott, a former world No. 1 who had not won on the PGA Tour since 2016, told PGA Tour Radio. “They’re not coming easy for me these days so I’m going to savour this one.

“It’s a great way to start (2020). This has to be my year. I can’t afford to let the next 10 years slip away. I have to make it happen now.”

Kuchar, who started the day tied for the lead with Scott and McIlroy, carded a one-over-par 72 while Kang closed with a 69 and Brown fired a 68.

Scott hoisted the trophy at Riviera in 2005, but since the rain-soaked event was shortened to 36 holes he wasn’t credited with a US PGA Tour victory.

But this “W” goes in the books as the 2013 Masters champion’s 14th US tour title.

That goes along with 14 international victories – most recently at the Australian PGA Championship in December, where Scott ended a near four-year title drought.

McIlroy’s hopes of celebrating his return to world number one with a win were dashed when he surrendered four shots in the space of two holes with a triple-bogey at the par-four fifth, followed by a bogey at the sixth.

The Northern Ireland star headlined a group of five players sharing fifth place on eight-under 276, where he was joined by Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama and Americans Bryson DeChambeau, Max Homa and Joel Dahmen.

Woods’s day could hardly have gone worse. Already 15 off the pace to start the day, the 15-time major champion dropped five shots in his last six holes as he stumbled home with a six-over-par 77.

Overall Woods had seven bogeys and a double-bogey with one birdie and an eagle on the way to an 11-over par total of 295 – 68th and last of the 68 players to make the cut.

“I did not do much well today,” said Woods, whose lone birdie of the day at 17 came when he holed out from a bunker – after failing to get out of the same bunker on his first attempt.

“Good news, I hit every ball forward, not backwards – a couple sideways.”

Woods went into the week gunning for a record-setting 83rd US PGA Tour title, having matched Sam Snead’s record of 82 at the Zozo Championship in October.

But Woods came up empty for the 13th time on the course where he played his first PGA Tour event as a 16-year-old.

There’s no other course Woods has played so many times without gaining a victory.

“I was just off, it happens,” Woods said. “I’m off and I’ve got a chance to have the week off this week and do a little prep, a little practising, some training, be at home – all positive things.”

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