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Emirates Australian Open 2013: Daily Leaderboard Analysis, Highlights and More

Nick AkermanFeatured ColumnistNovember 28, 2013

Emirates Australian Open 2013: Daily Leaderboard Analysis, Highlights and More

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    Matt King/Getty Images

    The 2013 Emirates Australian Open at the Royal Sydney Golf Club is underway.

    This year's tournament sees the likes of Adam Scott and George Ogilvy attempt to register an Australian triumph on home soil, while Rory McIlroy's name also stands out in a selection that is largely made up of men from Down Under.

    Can McIlroy become just the second European representative to win the competition after Lee Westwood's victory of 1997?

    Four rounds of extremely competitive golf stand between each of these players and a finely placed scribble in the history books.

    Bleacher Report will have updates from all four rounds...

Day 4: Marvellous McIlroy Triumphs

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    Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

    Leaderboard provided by Golf.org.au.

     

    Pos.

    Name

    Nationality

    Score

    1

    Rory McIlroy

    Northern Ireland

    -18

    2

    Adam Scott

    Australia

    -17

    3

    John Senden

    Australia

    -11

    4=

    Rhein Gibson

    Australia

    -9

    4=

    Bryden Macpherson

    Australia

    -9

    6=

    Jason Day

    Australia

    -8

    6=

    Matthew Jones

    Australia

    -8

    6=

    Mark Brown

    New Zealand

    -8

    9

    Nathan Holman

    Australia

    -7

    10=

    Ashley Hall

    Australia

    -6

     

    Rory McIlroy produced a superb closing round of six-under-par to win the Emirates Australian Open. The Northern Irishman overhauled a four shot overnight deficit from home favourite Adam Scott to finish one shot clear atop of the leader-board and it represents a welcome return to winning ways for the two-time major champion.

    McIlroy held his nerve to birdie the final hole of the day and cap off what was an excellent round. Scott by comparison, whilst posting a respectable final round score of one-under-par, dropped a shot at the last and in doing so relinquished his spot at the top of the pile for the first time in all but four days play.

    With Scott taking control on the penultimate day, there was little indication that we would be in store for such a dramatic finale. But there have glimpses all week and in recent tournaments that McIlroy is starting to recapture some of his best form; there has been no better indicator to date than his final round performance here.

    Paired with world number two Scott for the final day’s play, McIlroy must have taken heart after the 2009 champion three-putted the first hole. 

    Despite breaking the course record with a sparkling 62 on the opening day, Scott’s putting looked a little out of sorts in the early stages. He missed an excellent chance for birdie from around three feet at the seventh and eventually reached the turn just one shot ahead of McIlroy who himself eagled the seventh.

    Both players missed chances for eagle at the thirteenth following a pair of stunning approach shots, and going into the final third of the course the title was well up for grabs.

    Scott’s putting woes continued at 16 when he three-putted again, but his one shot lead preserved as McIlroy found himself plugged in the bunker.

    It meant that Scott went down the last knowing a solid hole would be enough to secure the title. But McIlroy is made of stern stuff in these pressure situations and produced a good tee-shot before guiding a delightful approach to within ten feet of the flag.

    Scott by comparison overhit his approach and the subsequent chip shot back onto the green. His par putt came up agonizingly short and unbelievably, McIlroy had a put for the title. The Northern Irishman obliged, giving him a dramatic and deserved victory.

    Heartbreak for Scott, who was on the verge of claiming and Australian triple crown. But he can take plenty of positives from four days in which he has played some outstanding golf. Something he alluded to in his post-round reflections (from The Guardian):

    It's just the way golf is. I'm gutted. I felt like I never had a better chance to win the Aussie Open but it was tight the whole back nine. Rory played so good.

    McIlroy had nothing but praise for the man he pipped at the post, but he was sure to point out the significance of this victory after a tough year for him (from The Guardian):

    It's hard not to feel some sort of guilt in the way that I won it.

    It's been a frustrating year but I've worked hard and it's been a process, trying to get back to winning golf tournaments, and it was nice to do that today.

    A classy showing from McIlroy and courteous words to boot. But deep down, he’ll recognize the importance of that win and be delighted with the steely mental resilience he showcased to come out on top in such a sense battle against a class player. 

    Scott will be left scratching his head as to how that one got away from him.

Day 3: Scott Takes Control

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    Matt King/Getty Images

    Leaderboard provided by Golf.org.au.

    Pos.NameNationalityScore
    1Adam ScottAustralia-12
    2Rory McIlroyNorthern Ireland-10
    3Richard GreenAustralia -9
    4Matthew JonesAustralia -8
    5=Alistair PresnellAustralia -6
    5=Josh YoungerAustralia -6
    5=Leigh McKechnieAustralia -6
    5=Brady WattAustralia -6
    9=Aron PriceAustralia -5
    9=Max McCardleAustralia -5

     

    Day 2 saw Rory McIlroy capitalise on a momentarily lapse by overall leader Adam Scott, moving the Northern Irishman back into contention at the top.

    Scott's horrific double-bogey at the fourth undid an excellent start which saw him break the course record during the opening day.

    That provided McIlroy with the incentive to show everyone why Tiger Woods suggested he would claim his first victory of the year by December, per Reuters via Eurosport.

    A successful end to 2013 could well be on the cards for the 24-year-old, who shot nine birdies to capitalise on Scott's misfortune. The pick of the bunch came at the sixth, which saw McIlroy sink a 14-foot putt to further pressure Scott.

    McIlroy, who started with a birdie at the 10th, produced fireworks throughout the day as he dropped only two shots, at the 17th and fourth.

    Such scores were typical of contrasting conditions for the top two: Scott was forced to play in gusty, storm-like winds, while McIlroy enjoyed calm, damp weather earlier in the day.

    Richard Green also posted a memorable performance and underlined his six-under par with a hole-in-one on the sixth. Much like McIlroy, this hole summed up a day of success which saw Scott cling uneasily to the massive lead he built during Round 1.

    McIlroy and Scott are set to tee off together on the final day, ensuring differing conditions will no longer be a problem.

    Scott will hope the support of the home fans will help him recover from a disappointing showing, while his closest contender knows this may be his best chance to end his 2013 drought.

Day 2 Results, McIlroy Soars in Differing Conditions

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    Matt King/Getty Images

    Leaderboard provided by Golf.org.au.

    Pos.NameNationalityScore
    1Adam ScottAustralia-12
    2Rory McIlroyNorthern Ireland-10
    3Richard GreenAustralia -9
    4Matthew JonesAustralia -8
    5=Alistair PresnellAustralia -6
    5=Josh YoungerAustralia -6
    5=Leigh McKechnieAustralia -6
    5=Brady WattAustralia -6
    9=Aron PriceAustralia -5
    9=Max McCardleAustralia -5

     

    Day 2 saw Rory McIlroy capitalise on a momentarily lapse by overall leader Adam Scott, moving the Northern Irishman back into contention at the top.

    Scott's horrific double-bogey at the fourth undid an excellent start which saw him break the course record during the opening day.

    That provided McIlroy with the incentive to show everyone why Tiger Woods suggested he would claim his first victory of the year by December, per Reuters via Eurosport.

    A successful end to 2013 could well be on the cards for the 24-year-old, who shot nine birdies to capitalise on Scott's misfortune. The pick of the bunch came at the sixth, which saw McIlroy sink a 14-foot putt to further pressure Scott.

    McIlroy, who started with a birdie at the 10th, produced fireworks throughout the day as he dropped only two shots, at the 17th and fourth.

    Such scores were typical of contrasting conditions for the top two: Scott was forced to play in gusty, storm-like winds, while McIlroy enjoyed calm, damp weather earlier in the day.

    Richard Green also posted a memorable performance and underlined his six-under par with a hole-in-one on the sixth. Much like McIlroy, this hole summed up a day of success which saw Scott cling uneasily to the massive lead he built during Round 1.

    McIlroy and Scott are set to tee off together on the final day, ensuring differing conditions will no longer be a problem.

    Scott will hope the support of the home fans will help him recover from a disappointing showing, while his closest contender knows this may be his best chance to end his 2013 drought.

Day 1 Results, Super Scott Leads

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    Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

    Leaderboard provided by the PGA.org.au.

    RankPlayerCountryTotal
    1.Adam ScottAustralia-10
    T-2.Ryan YipCanada-7
    T-2.John Young KimUSA-7
    4.David McKenzieAustralia-6
    T-5.Jason NorrisAustralia-5
    T-5.Aaron BaddeleyAustralia-5
    T-5.Jason ScrivenerAustralia-5
    T-5.Alistair PresnellAustralia-5
    T-9.Scott LaycockAustralia-4
    T-9.Steven BowditchAustralia-4
    T-9.Brady WattAustralia-4
    T-9.Anthony BrownAustralia-4
    T-9.Matthew JonesAustralia-4
    T-9.Steven JonesAustralia-4
    T-9.Max McCardleAustralia-4

     

    Day 1 of the Emirates Australian Open is complete, and there are few surprises at the top.

    Adam Scott eased his way into the tournament by making par on the first five holes. But he then significantly ramped up the early pressure on his competitors by hitting 10 consecutive birdies before parring his final three.

    As noted by the Australian Associated Press and via The Guardian, Scott's 10-under round is a new record at Royal Sydney, something the player called an "amazing start."

    The 33-year-old has given himself a degree of comfort with a three-stroke advantage over the rest of the field. Scott continually put himself in excellent positions and the longest birdie putt he had was from 15 feet, the rest coming from less than six.

    To sum up the strength of Scott's stroke, a gigantic 305-metre drive placed him firmly on the fairway at the seventh, a par-five hole he managed to birdie.

    Ryan Yip and John Young Kim—the top 10's only non-Australian representatives—are within touching distance on seven-under. Both players hit seven birdies during flawless rounds to head up the best of the rest.

    David McKenzie lies one shot further back after failing to capitalise on an excellent start that saw him hit back-to-back birdies across the opening two holes.

    A tight quartet of Jason Norris, Aaron Baddeley, Jason Scrivener and Alistair Presnell remain just behind their Australian counterpart on five-under, with Baddeley the only player from the four to progress through the round without carding at least one bogey.

    Six players are tied on four-under and will look to push up the rankings on the second day.

    Rory McIlroy, arguably the tournament's most recognisable name, is tied in 16th place on three-under. The Northern Irishman suffered bogeys at holes 10 and 11 to lose grasp of those above him, but will be encouraged by his five shots picked up through the day's action.

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