MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) – Adam Scott shot a 5-under 67 on Sunday to win the Australian Masters in his native country for his first victory of the year.
Scott had five birdies on the front nine and another on No. 18. He trailed Ian Poulter by one after three rounds.
“This has been a long time coming,'' Scott said. “This is pretty sweet to be in the gold jacket and hold this trophy that I've been admiring since I was a little kid.
“Winning the Australian Open was like getting the monkey off my back a couple of years ago, but this is certainly something I've wanted to achieve for a long time.''
Poulter, who played with Scott, bogeyed two par-5s in three holes on the back nine in the final round and missed a short par putt on 17. He shot a 72 and finished second, four strokes behind the winner.
Scott finished with a 72-hole total of 17-under 271 at Kingston Heath.
New Zealanders Gareth Paddison (68) and Mark Brown (69) tied for third, eight strokes behind.
Poulter said his bogey on No. 12 was costly.
“It wasn't a mistake in club selection, it was a poor swing,'' Poulter said. “So, if you're going to make a poor swing in that situation then you're going to get punished, and I did. I made a good 6 in the end, but a bogey there's costly and obviously a bogey on the next par 5 was also very costly.
“It was good to try and defend. I'm obviously just a little disappointed that I wasn't slipping another jacket on.''
Scott tapped in for birdie on the par-5 first to quickly join Poulter at the top, and the lead changed six times in seven holes.
After trailing by three strokes, Poulter made it interesting with an eight-foot birdie putt on 16 to pull within two, and the margin could have been closer. Scott was short of the green, but pitched to within four feet and made his par putt to make the swing just one shot.
Poulter gave away any chance of catching Scott when he lipped out on 17, increasing the margin back to three before Scott's birdie on 18.
Graeme McDowell, the 2010 U.S. Open champion, finished in a tie for eighth after a 71 in the final round.