Scott claims season-ending Cathedral Invitational title

Nick Zorbas and Darren Walton |

Adam Scott has put the disappointment of his gut-wrenching Australian Open near-miss behind him to take out the two-round Cathedral Invitational in Victoria.

The former world No.1 snapped a near-four-year winless drought in the process, finishing 12 under for a three-shot victory over Victorian Todd Sinnott and Sydney teenage prodigy Jeffrey Guan.

In a dream for promoters, superstar Cameron Smith was a further stroke back in equal fourth with Blake Collyer after playing in Wednesday’s final group with fellow major winners Scott and Geoff Ogilvy.

While the 36-hole event didn’t offer rankings points, the drought-breaking victory provided Scott with a huge shot of belief.

The 43-year-old suffered the despair of grabbing the solo lead with three holes to play in his final round of the Australian Open on Sunday, only to hit out of bounds and take a triple bogey on No.7 at The Australian – his 16th hole of the day.

Little wonder why he was chuffed to have somewhat atoned.

“It feels good. It’s just really satisfying to just keep playing good golf,” Scott said after claiming his first title since the PGA Tour’s Genesis Invitational in Los Angeles in early 2020.

“I am out here to play, I am going to try my best, and to win something is good for the confidence.”

Nineteen-year-old Guan made giant strides also after competing with the likes of the “big three” final group and almost trumping the trio.

“It felt surreal,” he said.

It was a positive end to the year also for 2022 British Open champion Smith, who tied for 17th in Sydney after a horror show in Brisbane a week earlier.

After opening with a course record-equalling eight-under-par 64 at the Cathedral Lodge and Golf Club on Tuesday, Scott came home in four under to finish a decisive winner.

The 2013 Augusta National hero started hot in round two, making birdies on three of his first six holes, before another two more on the back nine offset a double bogey on the par-4 11th.

Scott is hoping to use his strong end to 2023 as a springboard for success next year.

“I’m sure if I get in some kind of contention position for next time, I will have to draw on the experience of closing it out here nicely,” he said.

“I’d sum it up by saying I’m trending pretty good.”

Jake McLeod and the leading female, the LPGA Tour-bound Gabriela Ruffels, tied for sixth at seven under.