SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Deep in the heart of Texas, Adam Scott only saw Australia. Harsh scrubland off the fairways that reminded him of Brisbane and sandbelt greens that looked like home.
“I had a feeling Aussies would do well here this week,” Scott said.
None better than him.
Rallying from four strokes back for his first PGA Tour victory in two years, Scott was 11 under in a 36-hole Sunday finale at the Texas Open, edging Frederik Jacobson by a stroke on the new Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio.
The course was designed by Scott’s hero, fellow countrymen Greg Norman, who sent a congratulatory message after Scott’s first win since the Australian Open in December.
Norman’s note meant a lot to Scott. So did this victory.
“I questioned myself at times last year whether I was a great player or not,” Scott said. “I still feel I am.”
The 29-year-old Scott finished at 14-under 274 and earned $1,098,000 for his seventh tour victory and first since the 2008 Byron Nelson Classic. He overcame two early bogeys with an eagle on the par-4 17th in his third-round 66, then built his lead with six birdies en route to a closing 67.
Scott also survived a closing bogey – his only one in the final round – when Jacobson missed a 16-footer from the fringe on No. 18 that would’ve forced a playoff.
It was a long final day. More than 3 inches of rain had washed out Friday’s round, setting up Sunday’s 36-hole marathon.
Ernie Els, Aaron Baddeley and Jimmy Walker tied for third at 12 under. Els, the FedEx Cup leader, followed a third-round 69 with a 68.
Baddeley also entered the day four back and shot 67 and 68. Walker had rounds of 70 and 69 and ended up with a career-best finish on the tour.
Tim Petrovic and tour rookie Garth Mulroy were 11 under.
But like Scott said – this one belonged to the Aussies.
His only blemish of the final round was on the par-5 18th, thought it nearly cost him. Scott’s approach plopped in the greenside bunker, but he recovered to set up a 6-footer for par. But the putt rolled wide by a half-inch.
“A little bit of a disaster there,” Scott said.
Good thing it was just a little one.
Still, it gave give Jacobson a chance.
He started the day three strokes back but shot up the leaderboard with a bogey-free 7-under 65 in the third round. But the 35-year-old Swede couldn’t keep up that pace over the final 18.
Jacobson finished with a 70 and another bogey-free round. But he struggled this time to break par, two-putting six of his first nine holes before finally sinking a 7-footer for birdie on No. 12.
Relieved, Jacobson threw his hands up in victory when the putt dropped.
But his final birdie was on the par-4 15th.
Jacobson was unable to replicate the five straight birdies he sank on hole Nos. 14 through 18 in the first round that morning.
“I certainly felt with five holes to go I could do something,” Jacobson said. “I had good feelings coming from the morning. I gave myself good looks on all five of them. Just didn’t happen.”
J.B. Holmes had the 54-hole lead at 12 under but fell apart from the get-go in the final round. His had a double bogey on the par-4 first – overshooting the green for the second time of the day – then bogeyed four of his next seven holes.
Holmes was 4 over in the final round and finished 8 under.
Scott got his first top-10 finish this year, two weeks after he missed the cut at Quail Hollow and tied for 26th at The Players Championship.
Scott’s last three PGA Tour victories have come in Texas. He won the Houston Open in 2007 and the Byron Nelson two years ago.
DIVOTS: James Driscoll, who lost to Zach Johnson in a playoff last year at La Cantera, began the day one stroke back but couldn’t keep up while shooting even par in the third round. He finished at 9 under. … Sergio Garcia, a player consultant on the design of TPC San Antonio, was 1 under. … John Daly withdrew because of hip problems after double-bogeying two of his first four holes in the final round. It’s the second straight withdraw for Daly, who did the same at the Zurich Classic in April.