Adam Scott entered the Liberty National Golf Course clubhouse at 11 under par after his final round at The Barclays in Jersey City, N.J. He then anxiously waited as that score held up while a string of stars came just short of catching him.
Scott fired an impressive 66 on Sunday at the PGA's first playoff event and watched as putts on No. 18 from Justin Rose, Tiger Woods and Gary Woodland—which would have forced a playoff—didn't manage to fall.
In all, there were four players tied for second after this wild day, which David Feherty summed up in his own succinct way during CBS' broadcast of the event:
Check out the final leaderboard:
At six under, Scott began the final round a whopping six shots back of co-leaders Matt Kuchar and Woodland. The Australian came out and posted a bogey-free round that featured three straight birdies on the fifth, sixth and seventh holes.
It was an excellent 18 holes for Scott, but considering how low players had been able to go at this tournament, it didn't seem like his 11-under would ultimately be enough to hold up.
However, the leaders were struggling. Kuchar had an absolutely terrible Day 4, shooting a 78 and finishing tied for 19th place. Woodland played better, and he finished his day at two over. After a double bogey on the par-four fifth dropped him down the leaderboard, he hung in contention by playing the final 13 at even par.
All of this left the door open for reigning U.S. Open champ Justin Rose. Beginning the day at seven under, Rose used his fabulous ball-striking to step onto the 18th tee with a share of the lead.
On the 18th green, the Englishman had a decent look at birdie, which would have pushed him into sole possession of the lead at 12 under. He missed and was left with just under five feet for par and a chance to remain tied with Scott atop the leaderboard. Rose pushed it right and settled for a confounding three-putt.
That left Scott in the clubhouse with two serious threats to his victory: Woods and Woodland.
Woods' story was remarkable. He played the front nine at three under and looked ready to snag a come-from-behind victory. However, his aching back had other ideas:
While fighting through pain, Woods played holes Nos. 10 through 15 at three over, and it looked like his valiant effort was going to come up well short.
However, Woods tapped into his reserves and birdied No. 16 and 17 to step onto the 18th needing a birdie to force a playoff.
He played the 18th well, but his approach couldn't stay on the green and rolled off the back edge. That left him with this considerable effort to tie:
That remaining untraveled inch may have been as painful to Tiger as his back.
With Woods and Rose out of the picture, Gary Woodland was left as the last threat to Scott. Woodland's approach on No. 18 was strong, and he was left with just under 10 feet to tie.
After taking a long look, addressing the ball and backing away, Woodland hit the ball with pace but a bad line. It slid past the hole to leave Scott as champ in the Aussie's breakout season. As the 2013 Masters champion, Scott is firmly in the running for PGA Tour Player of the Year honors.
However, Scott's effort was not enough to propel him past Woods in the FedEx Cup points race:
While all of this was going on, Rickie Fowler and Jonas Blixt left fans wondering if they were seeing double. Blixt decided to prove Fowler couldn't out-orange him as the two played the final round together:
Proving that great oranges golf alike, that was where their two shots came to rest after their drives.
Blixt, as the Golf Channel passed along, offered up this explanation for donning Fowler's typical Sunday color: "I just think I look a little better in orange than him, so I just wanted to prove it today."
The jury may still be out on that one, Jonas.
Next up for Scott and the remaining qualified PGA Tour golfers is the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston in Norton, Mass., next weekend.
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