Adam Scott sets new course record in 'Grand Slam' victory

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SOUTHAMPTON, Bermuda — Masters champion Adam Scott broke the course record Wednesday at Port Royal with 7-under 64 to win the PGA Grand Slam of Golf by two shots over U.S. Open champion Justin Rose.

Trailing by four shots with 10 holes to play, Scott pulled ahead of his good friend for the first time with a 6-iron that settled inches from the cup on the par-5 17th for tap-in eagle. Rose pulled his approach and had to settle for par.

“Obviously, I’m thrilled to come out on top,” Scott said. “Fun – but a trying couple of days here, really, especially today. Standing on the 11th tee, didn’t look like a score like that was going to be possible. But I played very well and managed to slowly claw away at Justin.”

Rose, who opened with 67, had 69 in the 36-hole exhibition for the four major champions of the year.

Scott finished 8-under 134 in his first trip to Bermuda. He won a pink jacket to go along with the green jacket he won at Augusta.

A 6-iron was also the club Scott used on the second playoff hole at Augusta National when he defeated Angel Cabrera – but this one came from a new set. Scott replaced his irons for the Presidents Cup two weeks ago.

“So this one’s got some good stuff in it, too,” he said.

PGA champion Jason Dufner, who started two shots behind, fell off the pace quickly and was never a serious threat. He closed with 70 to finish alone in third, five shots behind. Padraig Harrington, a three-time major winner, shot 71 to finish eight behind. As the defending champion, Harrington was first alternate to replace British Open champion Phil Mickelson, who chose not to play.

Rose had a two-shot lead going into the final day and ran off four birdies to double the lead. Scott stayed in range with three birdies, and then the Australian played mistake-free in tough conditions on the back nine to rally for the win.

Scott made birdie on No. 13, and then holed a 20-foot birdie on the 15th after Rose’s attempt from 30 feet narrowly missed.

“I started with a two-shot lead and somebody had to shoot well to beat me,” Rose said. “When you’re in that position you want to close it out. But when somebody finishes it out like that, you have to tip your hat and say you were beaten rather than losing. He was 4-under the last six, so that’s a strong finish.”

For setting the course record at Port Royal – Lucas Glover had 65 in 2009 – the premier of Bermuda offered Scott an honorary membership at the course.

“Do I get to keep it if someone beats it next year?” Scott replied.

WORLD CHALLENGE: Even with the PGA Tour starting a new season in October, Tiger Woods said he was pleasantly surprised to draw another big cast of stars to his holiday tournament.

“It’s our deepest and strongest field that we’ve had, possibly ever,” Woods said Tuesday.

The tournament will be held Dec. 5-8 at Sherwood Country Club.

It includes defending champion Graeme McDowell, along with Rory McIlroy, Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter.

Ernie Els is playing the World Challenge for the first time. Jason Day returns as well.

The other Americans besides Woods are PGA champion Jason Dufner, Matt Kuchar, Hunter Mahan, Brandt Snedeker, Zach Johnson, Bubba Watson, Jim Furyk, Keegan Bradley and Steve Stricker.

“I think we’re all very surprised that we’ve got as many international players playing this year,” Woods said during a conference call. “The American players have supported our event throughout the years. Obviously, it’s easier travel if you’re based in the States. The guys who are playing in the Race to Dubai, it’s a bit more of a challenge to get them to play. But for some reason, this year we’ve had guys wanting to play and we have probably the best field we’ve had.”

The tournament will be played for the 15th time, and it means so much to Woods that last year he invested his own money – believed to be about $4 million – to help cover operating expenses and to make sure there would be enough proceeds to benefit his foundation.

One challenge this year was the new wraparound season on the PGA Tour, starting in October and ending with the Tour Championship next September. There are six tournaments the rest of this fall – two in Asia – that offer full FedEx Cup points and official money.

Woods’ tournament is not official. It counts only toward the world ranking. And the total purse ($3.5 million) is smaller than any tournament on the PGA Tour or European Tour for the rest of 2013. That didn’t seem to matter.

“I think word has spread,” Woods said. “We’ve always treated players well there. They’ve had a great time. It’s close enough to the following year where some of the guys want to try and experiment with a few things equipmentwise, club deal. They want to get a tournament in before they play Kapalua, the Hawaiian Open. Some of the guys have done that in the past.

“Otherwise, we’ve had great American support,” Woods said. “But it’s pretty incredible to get the international support we’ve gotten this year.”

Woods has only two tournaments remaining in 2013 – Turkey and the World Challenge.

Since the FedEx Cup began in 2007, the only domestic event he has played after September was the Frys.com Open in 2011, the year he missed the FedEx Cup playoffs because of injury.

Woods still hasn’t adjusted to the notion that a new season already is underway.

“Some of the players were talking about that at the Presidents Cup,” he said. “It’s hard to believe the very next week is a tour event. We felt like we were still playing our season because we were still playing The Presidents Cup. I think it’s going to take a little bit of time to get accustomed to it.”


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