By Jay Betsill
Adam Scott birdied four of his first five holes on the back nine at Doral’s Blue Monster to help him rally from what was once a six shot deficit and win the WGC-Cadillac Championship. Coupled with his win at last week’s Honda Classic at PGA National, Scoot is now atop the FedEx Cup standings and will move up to No. 6 in the world golf rankings.
Scott’s final approach was perilously close to the water, as NBC’s Johnny Miller compared it to Fred Couples’ legendary shot at the 1992 Masters. It left Scott with a tricky pitch from a steep angle, but he was able to flop it just 6 feet past the pin and drain the par putt to top Bubba Watson by one shot.
“I was so lucky for it to stay up inside the hazard line like that,” Scott said. “When you’re that lucky, you’d better get it up and down.”
Scott, a former Masters champion as well as a past winner at the Colonial and the AT&T Byron Nelson, has now won 13 times on the PGA Tour.
“I can’t believe I’ve won back-to-back weeks,” Scott said. “To win a World Golf Championship is huge again.”
The final pairing of Rory McIlroy and defending champion Dustin Johnson failed to generate any momentum as MIlroy was passed by Watson and Scott on the back nine while Johnson imploded playing 10-13 in 7-over on his way to a closing 79.
“I didn’t take advantage of the holes I should have,” said McIlroy, who will tee it up next in two weeks at Bay Hill.
No word on if Scott will be able to defend his title next year at Doral. General Motors’ sponsorship agreement for the the Cadillac Championship with the event is now over and with no sponsor, there’s no tournament.
“Our hope is that the future could allow us to stay here and continue to build the tournament,” PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem said Sunday afternoon, meeting with reporters before sitting down privately with Donald Trump to talk about the tournament’s future. “But we’ll have more to say about that after we do a full evaluation of our performance this year.”
World No. 1 Jordan Spieth makes his first title defense of 2016 from his breakout 2015 season next week at the Valspar Championship at the Innisbrook Resort Copperhead course in Palm Harbor, FL.
“It was pretty exciting to watch,” Spieth said Wednesday prior to his pro-am at the Innisbrook Resort. “Had a few tough up and downs the last few holes, made a few putts and ultimately knocked in a long one in a playoff and really got a nice jump start to closing out tournaments in ’15 and it continued throughout the year.”
Notables in the field include Henrik Stenson, Patrick Reed, Keegan Bradley, Ernie Els, Jason Dufner, Retief Goosen, Luke Donald, Padraig Harrington, Danny Lee, Matt Kuchar, Webb Simpson, Steve Stricker and Martin Kaymer.
— Rickie Fowler made a hole-in-one Monday at a charity golf event to earn the Els for Autism Foundation $1 million. Read about it and see the video at ESPN.com
— Tiger Woods’ record-breaking victory at the 1997 Masters came in at No. 7 on Sports Illustrated’s 100 Greatest Moments in Sports History. Six of golf’s biggest moments made the list at si.com.