It's official: Scott wins Genesis Invitational, Woods stumbles home
published : 17 Feb 2020 at 09:46
LOS ANGELES - Adam Scott fired a one-under-par 70 on Sunday to win the Genesis Invitational, and this time the Australian's victory at Riviera Country Club is official.
On a challenging day that saw world number one Rory McIlroy card a two-over-par 73 and tournament host Tiger Woods stumble to a six-over 77, 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 (69) and Americans Scott Brown (68) and Matt Kuchar (72).
"It's incredibly satisfying to win a tournament of this stature on a golf course of this stature -- even better to come out on top and have your game really tested. It was not easy," Scott said.
He said the key with Riviera playing firm and fast was to "take away the big mistakes" and while he didn't manage to do that completely, he did it better than most.
Scott's big miscue came at the par-four fifth, where his flop shot from behind the green rolled back to his feet and he wound up with a double-bogey.
McIlroy, who started the day tied for the lead with Scott and Kuchar, fared even worse at the fifth, where he also needed two flop shots to reach the green but then took three putts for a triple-bogey.
While Scott bounced right back with an 18-foot birdie putt at the sixth, McIlroy made a bogey and never really recovered.
"Definitely the toughest day of the week," said McIlroy, who regained the world number one ranking last Monday for the first time since 2015. "The wind was up, hole locations were sort of tricky spots, the course was firming up again. Everyone was finding it tough out there."
Scott gave himself a bit of breathing room with a 12-foot birdie at the 13th, but for him the shot of the day was a flop shot at 15, where he limited the damage to a bogey after his approach was plugged in a greenside bunker and he blasted out through the green.
"I was in a horrible position then," Scott said. "I stood there and I wanted to maybe bump it into the fringe, but realistically it was going to be 45 feet past probably.
"I thought, well, you can maybe win the tournament if you hit a great flop shot here, so I thought I might as well just go for it."
Scott rolled in an 11-foot birdie putt at 17 to push his lead back to two strokes, and he closed with a par to hoist the trophy at Riviera for a second time.
He came out on top in a playoff 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.
- 'important step' -
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.
"This is an important step for whatever this next few years is in my career," the 39-year-old said. "It can definitely be used for momentum."
McIlroy said that apart from his lapse on the fifth he played "pretty well.
"Played the other holes in one-under," noted the Northern Ireland star, who 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 he came up empty for the 13th time on the course where he played his first PGA Tour event as a 16-year-old.