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Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Duel

If you didn't get to see Ian Poulter and Adam Scott's duel at the Talisker Masters (the Australian Masters, if you prefer) late Saturday night, you missed a great one. If you don't want to know what happened because you're going to watch the replay today and want to be surprised, STOP READING NOW.

Oh, you're still reading? Then I'll get on with the post. Bear in mind that Ian Poulter was also the defending champion at this tournament, so this was exactly the type of finish the crowds wanted -- the defending champion against a big-name Australian player.

Ian led Adam by a single stroke after some great play during the third round, so the two were paired for the final round. It was really cool because the crowds were walking the fairways behind them, just like in some of the old golf tournaments in the early 20th Century. At one point they were about 10 shots ahead of the rest of the field, so it really was a duel.

And the two of them traded blows all during the first 9 holes. Ian would get one ahead, then Adam would get one ahead, then Ian, then Adam... you get the picture. They didn't tie a hole until the 9th.

The back 9 was where things changed. On the par-5 12th both men went in one of those weird bunkers they have at Kingston Heath... and Ian got a little greedy. He didn't clear the lip and ended up bogeying the hole. After that it got worse. He bogeyed the 14th, birdied the 16th, but bogeyed the 17th.

Adam simply parred the entire back 9. He went to the 18th with a 3-shot lead... and then birdied the 18th for a 4-shot win.

Adam Scott has had a couple of chances to win the Australian Masters in the past but couldn't get the job done. This time he did, and I suspect it feels pretty good. (Adam has said winning this tournament has been a goal of his.) Although it won't count in my RGWR until he wins a tournament on either the PGA Tour or the European Tour, it's still a pretty important win for him... especially since he had to beat Ian Poulter head-to-head to do it.

It'll be interesting to see if this win jumpstarts his 2013 the way the Ryder Cup did for Ian these last few months.

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