Great Scott Wins Johnnie Walker Classic

Sun 24 Apr 2005

Great Scott Wins Johnnie Walker Classic

  • SHARE

Beijing, April 24: Australian Adam Scott claimed his ninth title in his meteoric career when he completed his start-to-finish victory at the US$2.35 million Johnnie Walker Classic on Sunday.



Scott, ranked 10th in the world, fired an even par 72 in the final round at Pine Valley Golf Resort and Country Club to triumph by three strokes over South Africa's Retief Goosen, who signed off with a 70.


With his second win of the season, courtesy of an 18-under-par 270 aggregate, the 24-year-old Scott joins his idol Greg Norman and other golf greats such as Tiger Woods, Fred Couples and Ernie Els as a winner of the Johnnie Walker Classic, Asia's richest tournament.


New Zealand's Michael Campbell, Richard Sterne of South Africa and Sweden's Henrik Stenson shared third place on 275 while Asia's best performer was Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand, who finished in joint 16th place following a disappointing 74.


"I feel really good about myself. For the last few days, I've played a lot of golf and most of it, I played pretty well. Today was tough in the wind and I did what I needed to do. I hung on and I'm proud of myself for that," said Scott, who won the Nissan Open on the US PGA Tour earlier this year.


After carding a course record opening 63 which took two days to complete due to weather disruptions, Scott tightened his grip on the event sanctioned by the Asian, European and Australasian Tours with some dazzling displays. He completed his third round with a 69 despite a double bogey on his last hole earlier this morning for a five shot lead.


World number five Goosen fought hard on a breezy Sunday afternoon with three birdies and a bogey on his outward nine as Scott left the door slightly ajar by going to two over for his final round through 10 holes, dropping four bogeys against two birdies.


With the lead down to one stroke, Goosen threatened to draw level before Scott regained control with brilliant back-to-back birdies on the 12th and 13th holes to regain a three-shot lead which he kept until his final putt which came with a winner's cheque of US$398,785. The Aussie said a superbly-struck two iron at the par three 12th hole to three feet for birdie drove him to victory.


"I wasn't looking so good at one point, down to one shot and Retief was playing very well. But on the 12th tee, I struck a beautiful shot and sealed it off with a birdie and followed it on the next. Looking back, the 12th hole set me up to win," said Scott.


He also paid tribute to his caddy Tony Navarro, who was Norman's long-time caddie previously. "My mind kind of left me on the 10th but Tony kind of jawed me up on the 11th tee and said 'show me your best swing here' and I hit a pretty good shot. Hitting the green and two putts there was important to get a solid hole back underway," said Scott.


Goosen, winner of the Johnnie Walker Classic in 2002, said his putting deserted him. "I suppose I have to be happy. It's better than third but I would have liked to have putted better this week, especially today. The chances were there to catch him but I didn't take it. Just nine pars on the back nine, missed a lot of putts. Good for him, well played."


The reigning US Open champion said he should have taken advantage of Scott's mid-round wobble. "He bogeyed nine and 10 and 11 was probably an important hole for me to make a birdie there and I didn't. And then I made a bad club selection on the par five on 13 and then missed a short one on 15 to get a bit closer but didn’t do it," said Goosen.


Thongchai was Asia's top performer at tied 16th place after closing with a disappointing 74, 10 shots more than his brilliant third round effort which he completed this morning.


"My chipping was bad and I couldn't make a putt to save par. The field here this week was strong, so it was disappointing that we didn't make our presence felt a bit more. We'll have to try and come back next week in Shanghai," said the Thai star, who currently leads the Asian Tour Order of Merit.


World number three Ernie Els of South Africa shared sixth place on 276, six shots behind the winner, with Scotsman Colin Montgomerie and Australian Brett Rumford while Luke Donald of England was a further stroke back.


Leading final scores

270 - Adam Scott (AUS) 63-66-69-72

273 - Retief Goosen (RSA) 68-67-68-70

275 - Michael Campbell (NZL) 70-65-68-72, Henrik Stenson (SWE) 70-67-66-72, Richard Sterne (RSA) 68-66-70-71

276 - Colin Montgomerie (SCO) 68-70-69-69, Ernie Els (RSA) 71-67-69-69, Brett Rumford (AUS) 71-71-65-69

277 - Luke Donald (ENG) 73-67-65-72

278 - Scott Drummond (SCO) 69-71-65-73, Sergio Garcia (ESP) 67-71-67-73, Santiago Luna (ESP) 70-70-66-72, Steven O'Hara (SCO) 72-65-69-72

279 - Gary Rusnak (USA) 68-65-71-75, David Park (WAL) 70-68-67-74

280 - Thongchai Jaidee (THA) 70-72-64-74, Gregory Havret (FRA) 71-70-67-72, Terry Price (AUS) 73-66-70-71, Simon Dyson (ENG) 72-71-66-71

281 - Wade Ormsby (AUS) 71-67-68-75, Trevor Immelman (RSA) 71-70-66-74, Unho Park (AUS) 70-71-69-71

282 - Prayad Marksaeng (THA) 68-71-66-77, Emanuele Canonica (ITA) 72-66-68-76, Choi Kyung-Ju (KOR) 72-65-70-75, Anthony Wall (ENG) 73-66-69-74, Kenneth Ferrie (ENG) 74-67-68-73, Terry Pilkadaris (AUS) 70-73-67-72, Gareth Paddison (NZL) 71-68-72-71



About The Johnnie Walker Classic

The Johnnie Walker Classic is more than just a golf tournament. Along with a week of official parties, Johnnie Walker will be raising money for the “Keep Walking” Thailand Tsunami fund and will be promoting messages encouraging people to drink in moderation. This includes the 15th hole, on which the signage carries messages about responsible drinking.


For further information, please contact Helen Heady or Chuah Choo Chiang at the Johnnie Walker Classic press centre at tel: +86 10 8019 1305 or fax: +86 10 8019 1370. Also, visit www.asiantour.com for live scoring and www.johnniewalkerclassic.om



 For interview transcripts, go to www.asapsports.com