• Crowne Plaza Invitational

Scott beats Dufner to hold off Stenson in No.1 battle

ESPN staff
May 26, 2014
Adam Scott's win saw him hold off © AP

Adam Scott only entered the Crown Plaza Invitational at the last minute to justify moving to world No.1 days previously.

There was a chance his reign could have lasted just one week as Henrik Stenson made an assault on the BMW PGA Championship.

A tie for seventh at Wentworth for the Swede meant, some 5,000 miles away, Scott needed to finish 13th or better at Colonial.

'How the hell did that happen?'

Rory McIlroy celebrates his first win on European soil as a professional © Getty Images
  • While Adam Scott and Henrik Stenson battle for top spot, Rory McIlroy's win at the BMW PGA Championship sees the former world No.1 up four places to sixth.
  • McIlroy proved to the world he could put his dramatic personal life to one side with victory at Wentworth.
  • Click here to continue reading
  • Afterwards, he couldn't quite believe it himself - describing his week as "very weird".
  • Click here to continue reading

The Australian not only did that - he rolled home an eight-foot birdie putt at the third play-off hole to lift the trophy and become just the second man to win the week following a rise to No.1 after Ian Woosnam in 1991.

"It's so satisfying in so many ways to get it done," Scott said. "It's a good feeling, and maybe some validation."

Only days after officially overtaking injured Tiger Woods at No.1, Scott bogeyed four of his first nine holes in the first round at Colonial. Midway through his final round, Scott had a double-bogey that dropped him three strokes off the lead.

"Maybe added a little pressure for myself, trying to play like a No.1. But I think the important thing was I realised that didn't mean playing perfect, and I certainly didn't play perfect all week," Scott said. "But the way you come back and get it done, and I felt like I certainly played like one of the best players in the world out there on the back nine."

He certainly did, with consecutive birdies in the play-off after Scott and Dufner each shot 66 to finish at nine-under, the highest winning score at Colonial since 1999.

The major champions parred No.18 to start the playoff before matching birdies at the 17th. Dufner, who won the PGA Championship last year, hit his approach pin high on 17 to four feet, but 2013 Masters champ Scott drained a 14-foot birdie before Dufner putted.

Dufner, who made a 25-foot birdie putt on No.18 in regulation, slid a 40-footer past when he and Scott played the 18th hole for the second time during the play-off. Scott then rolled home for his 11th PGA Tour victory.

Dufner said: "It's tough to beat him. He's a great player. It's tough to concentrate, he's so good looking, too.

"I thought maybe I could sneak one in there on 17, but he topped me."

The victory at Colonial, which came with $1,152,000 and a plaid jacket, made Scott the first player to win all four PGA Tour events in Texas.

Stenson, meanwhile, moves up to world No.2, dropping Woods to third.

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