Golf: Adam Scott takes second Australian PGA title by two strokes to end drought of nearly four years

 Australian golfer Adam Scott poses with the trophy after winning the 2019 Australian PGA Championship on Dec 22, 2019.
Australian golfer Adam Scott poses with the trophy after winning the 2019 Australian PGA Championship on Dec 22, 2019.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

GOLD COAST (AP) - Adam Scott sealed his first tournament win in almost four years on Sunday (Dec 22) when he shot a three-under 69 to win the Australian PGA Championship by two shots.

The 39-year-old's victory gave him the 30th title of his professional career and a second Australian PGA crown after his win in 2013, also at Royal Pines. He was edged into second place by compatriot Greg Chalmers in a thrilling seven-hole play-off on the same course in 2014.

Scott's last tournament win came three years, nine months, 16 days ago at the WGC Cadillac Classic in Miami, where he beat Bubba Watson by a shot.

His win in front of a home crowd - he has a house close by - completed a solid year and lifted him from 18th to 13th in the world rankings.

He finished with a 72-hole total of 275, 13 under par and two shots ahead of New Zealand's Michael Hendry, who matched Scott's final-round 69. Former US amateur champion Nick Flanagan shot 70 to finish among a five-way tie for third place on 278.

Scott came into the final round with a one-shot lead over Hendry but fell a shot behind the Kiwi after 11 holes.

He had an unplayable lie on the 12th but got up and down for par and that was the turning point in his final round. He played the next three holes three under par to surge past Hendry into first place.

The Kiwi's winning chance evaporated when his approach on the 17th hole clipped trees and plunged into a green-side bunker. He made bogey to fall two shots behind Scott, then bogeyed again when he three-putted the 18th green to give the Australian a three-shot lead coming to the last hole.

Scott went through the green at the 17th but saved par, then could afford his bogey on 18 and still claim the title.

"After a good save on 12 it was time to do something and I was behind so there was opportunity for everyone and I was the one who took them today," Scott said.

"I'm stoked. This has been a long time coming and I'm really happy to win another PGA here. It finishes off a nice year for me."

Hendry battled a painful rib injury over both of the last two rounds and only gave up his title bid with bogeys at the last two holes.

Flanagan was in the mix until late in the final round but had a disastrous double bogey at the 13th, bogeyed the 14th, then finished with bogey to drop back into a tie for third.