McIlroy Birdies 18th to Edge Scott in Australian Open

Rory McIlroy birdied the 18th hole at Royal Sydney Golf Club to edge Adam Scott and win the Australian Open. The victory was the Northern Irishman's first of 2013 and it prevented Scott from becoming the second player to win all three of Australia's golf majors.

McIlroy closed with a flawless 6-under 66 that included four birdies and an eagle on the par-5 seventh hole to end up at 18-under 270. Scott, who entered the final round with a four-stroke edge over McIlroy, had a 71 for a 271 total.

Most disappointing of all for Scott was that while McIlroy birdied the par-4 last at Royal Sydney, he bogeyed the hole after his approach went long and he couldn't get up and down. A par would have forced a sudden-death playoff.

"I wanted to get a win and finally I've been able to get one," McIlroy said. "But more satisfying than that is being able to take one of the best players in the world down the stretch and come out on top.

"Adam is a phenomenal golfer, a great competitor and probably an even better guy and I feel a bit sorry that I was the one that ruined the 'triple crown' for him."

Scott was trying to become the second player following Robert Allenby in 2005 to win the Australian PGA, Australian Masters and Open titles. But his long-putter failed him on Sunday as Scott missed six putts from within 12 feet.

"Nothing was going my way on the greens today," the 33-year-old from Adelaide said. "I could have put this thing away early on if the putter was behaving how it should have, how it did the rest of the week."

McIlroy felt for Scott. "I didn't think it was going to unfold the way it did," he said. "It's hard not to feel some guilt in the way I won it. Having a one-shot lead going into the last having it taken away from you right at the very end, it's tough."

John Senden shot a 66 to finish third at 277, while sharing fourth at 279 were Aussies Rhein Gibson and Bryden Macpherson, who both shot 69s. Because of their high finishes in the Australian Open, all three players qualified for next year's British Open.

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