Sunday 4 December 2016

Rory McIlroy 'very frustrated' after letting three-shot lead slip at Doral

Phil Casey

Published 07/03/2016 | 07:52

Rory McIlroy reacts to a missed putt on the 10th hole during the final round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral Blue Monster Course in Doral yesterday
Rory McIlroy reacts to a missed putt on the 10th hole during the final round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral Blue Monster Course in Doral yesterday

Adam Scott has set his sights on a second Masters title after producing an extraordinary fightback to win his second tournament in succession in the WGC-Cadillac Championship.

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Scott carded a closing 69 which featured two double bogeys in the space of three holes, a shank and seven birdies to finish 12 under par at Doral, one shot ahead of double Masters champion Bubba Watson.

England's Danny Willett was a shot off the lead before driving into the water on the 18th, the resulting bogey dropping him into a share of third with Rory McIlroy, who started the final round with a three-shot lead but struggled to a 74 featuring just one birdie.

"I can't believe I have won back to back weeks out here and to win a WGC is huge," said Scott, who was also second in the Northern Trust Open a fortnight ago.

"Somehow I need to bottle this up and keep it another four or five weeks through the Masters and that would be amazing to get myself into contention there and have a chance."

Scott won the Masters in 2013 using a long putter and reached the top of the world rankings in May 2014, but has successfully reverted to a conventional club in order to comply with the ban on anchored strokes which came into effect on January 1.

"I have been working hard on my putting and couldn't ask for a better way to test myself, a six-footer to win a World Golf Championship event," he added.

"I made a couple of horrible errors on the front nine but you can't give up hope and I thought if I can get a couple (of birdies) before the turn, maybe a great back nine is good enough if things go my way and they did somehow.

"Somehow I started feeling a bit like I did last week and the swing came under control, the rhythm came back and I started hitting iron shots close, almost so close you couldn't miss them which was nice."

After a birdie on the first, Scott had seemingly fallen out of contention by finding water on the third and fifth to run up a pair of double bogeys, but the 35-year-old bounced back with birdies on the sixth and eighth and started the back nine with three more in succession, before another on the 14th took him into a two-shot lead.

Willett and then Watson closed to within a shot with birdies on the 16th and 17th respectively, while Scott amazingly shanked a bunker shot on the short par-four 16th but crucially scrambled a par.

Scott's approach to the 18th was then just a few feet from finding the water to the left of the green, but the former Masters champion hit a superb chip to six feet and holed out for his 13th PGA Tour title.

McIlroy was frustrated to let another chance slip through his fingers, adding: "I didn't make enough birdies. I felt like my game was okay for the most part, but I didn't take advantage of the holes I should have. I couldn't birdie any of the par fives and that's really what killed me today.

"It's frustrating because it's two out of the last three weeks. I was leading the golf tournament with 16 holes to play in Riviera, I was leading the golf tournament here going into the back nine, and to not get the job done in either two of those instances is very frustrating.

"I've got two events left to try to get that win before going to Augusta and I'm hopefully going to get it."

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