(AP) Adam Scott collapses again in British Open
By TIM DAHLBERG
AP Sports Writer
Adam Scott’s collapse in the final round at the British Open wasn’t nearly as spectacular as it was a year ago.
The end result was still the same.
For the second year in a row Scott held the lead on the back nine; for the second year in a row he left without his name on the claret jug.
Even the green jacket he won in between at the Masters couldn’t ease the sting of this one.
No one was because Phil Mickelson closed so strongly he likely would have won the Open no matter what Scott or any of his fellow competitors did. But three straight bogeys on the back nine sealed the fate of the Masters champion, eliminating him from contention before he even had a shot at making a late run.
Playing in the next-to-last group with Tiger Woods, Scott made a run at the lead when he sank a long putt on the eighth hole for birdie, then followed it with a two-putt birdie on the par-5 ninth. When he added yet another birdie on the short par-4 11th he was suddenly in the lead with seven holes to go.
Nothing new there. Last year at the Open at Lytham, Scott had a four-shot lead with four holes to play and all that seemed left to do was prepare his victory speech.
It quickly unraveled, though, with Scott finishing with a string of bogeys in one of the great collapses in golfing history. The image of his knees buckling when he missed a 7-foot putt to force a playoff with Ernie Els lingers still.
Compared to that, Sunday’s back nine missteps paled by comparison. Once again, though, Scott began making bogeys and soon someone else was holding the Open trophy.
It began with a bad shot into the grassy dunes right of the 13th green that Scott almost got away with when he hit a great pitch to seven feet. But the putt lipped out, beginning a string of three straight bogeys that took him out of contention.
Scott’s disappointment in a wasted opportunity was tempered by the fact Mickelson shot a 5-under 66 to finish the tournament at 3-under-par. But Scott was 2-under himself after the 11th hole, and it wasn’t outside the realm of possibility that he might have made a few more birdies coming in.
He wasn’t certain where he stood as he made his way into the back nine, though he had an idea Mickelson was making a move.
By the time Scott rolled in a final 20-footer on the last hole for birdie, Mickelson was already doing interviews and signing autographs off the final green. Scott finished four shots back, tied for third with third-round leader Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter.
Scott and Woods had a brief chat as they left the green, both feeling they had let one get away.
That wasn’t the case in April when the Australian with the long putter strung together a pair of 69s on the weekend to get into a playoff with Angel Cabrera to win the Masters. It was a breakthrough win for the 32-year-old, and especially satisfying since it came in the wake of his collapse at the British the year before.
After he lost the British last year, Scott said it he would learn from the experience. Despite missing again, he said he did.