Golf: Scott lives up to his No 1 rank

By Ben Everill

Adam Scott celebrates after sinking the winning putt on the 18th hole during the third playoff in the final round of the PGA Colonial golf tournament in Fort Worth, Texas. Photo / AP
Adam Scott celebrates after sinking the winning putt on the 18th hole during the third playoff in the final round of the PGA Colonial golf tournament in Fort Worth, Texas. Photo / AP

Adam Scott feels he proved a point after shoring up his new world No1 ranking with a victory that took him past some of golf's greatest names as the first to claim the Texas Slam.

Scott defeated fellow major winner Jason Dufner on the third hole of a sudden-death playoff to claim the Crowne Plaza Invitational title at Colonial Country Club yesterday.

Critics had claimed Scott's rise to No1 was less impressive because it occurred when he was not playing last week, spurring the Queenslander to join the field in Fort Worth.

And the 33-year-old Australian showed class befitting the world's best player by fighting back from a four-over opening nine holes to win yesterday, boosting his rankings lead.

"It's a good feeling and maybe some validation, you could say," said Scott, after becoming the fifth Australian winner on the US tour in 2014.

In doing so he went past the likes of Ben Hogan, Byron Nelson, Sam Snead and Arnold Palmer, who all won three of the US tour's four Texas events but never clinched the full set of Byron Nelson, Texas Open, Houston Open and Colonial titles.

Scott and Dufner both fired final round four-under-par 66s to finish locked at nine-under, forcing the playoff.

When he teed off in the final round, Scott was tied 16th and knew he needed to finish inside the top 13 to hold on to the No1 ranking following world No3 Henrik Stenson's tie for seventh on the European Tour.

By the time he made a clutch 4m putt on the second playoff hole for birdie and then a 2m winner the next hole, he had opened up a handy rankings cushion that will make him hard to topple before next month's US Open.

"It was certainly on my mind," said Scott of the rankings battle. "But I think the important thing was I realised that [being No1] didn't mean playing perfect. The way I came back and got it done, I felt like I certainly played like one of the best players in the world out there."

While he completed the Texas Slam by adding to his 2007 Houston Open, 2008 Byron Nelson Championship and 2010 Texas Open, he has his sights on a career major championship grand slam. Right now his 2013 Masters win is his only major title.

Rounding out a great day for the Australians, John Senden finished tied fifth and clinched a US Open start through his world ranking, and Matt Jones has a place in his first British Open and a second US Open.

- AAP

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