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Aus Open Moment #4: Agony for Scott in McIlroy match-up

AS we gear up for the 2016 Australian Open, we look back at Rory McIlroy and Adam Scott's thrilling duel at Royal Sydney three years ago.

GENESIS is the Official Vehicle Partner of the 2016 Emirates Australian Open and to celebrate this partnership the Genesis Golf Link Cup is turning the clock back to relive some of the greatest moments in Stonehaven Cup history.

2013 - agony for scott after mcilroy match-up

Today we look back to 2013 where earlier in the year, after multiple heartbreaks and close calls, Adam Scott finally broke Australia’s Masters hoodoo with a stirring victory at Augusta National, and he returned to these shores that summer a hero to local golf fans.

Scott couldn’t have done any more to share his victory with the locals, playing all three of Australia’s premiere tournaments and taking the Green Jacket with him everywhere he went.

It would be impossible to calculate how many photos Scott posed for in that famous blazer, or how many awestruck Australian fans reached out just to touch the fabric, but it is fair to say the atmosphere was euphoric.

Riding high on his Augusta triumph, Scott opened his Australian summer by grabbing the Australian PGA Championship at Royal Pines on the Gold Coast before heading south for the Australian Masters at Royal Melbourne.

A two-shot victory there, and partnering Jason Day to the team title at the following week’s World Cup of Golf at the same course, meant Scott was Sydney-bound with a chance to capture the elusive ‘Triple Crown’.

Scott arrived at Royal Sydney Golf Club visibly tired but still full of enthusiasm, buoyed everywhere he went by the enthusiastic crowds.

An opening round 62 seemed to set the stage for a special finish to the year and Scott backed up with scores of 70 and 68 to take a four-stroke lead into the final round.

His closest pursuer and playing partner for the day was then two-time major winner Rory McIlroy, who was on the comeback trail after more than a year without a victory.

The pair staged a thrilling head to head duel over the final 18 holes, with Scott barely holding on to a one-shot lead as they arrived at Royal Sydney’s famous final hole.

It seemed Scott was destined to cap his stunning year with the perfect finish, claiming a second Australian Open title and the antipodean version of the Grand Slam.

But golf can be a cruel mistress and, just as it had dangled the possibility in front of Scott it took it away, a poor sand wedge to the final green flew long and left an awkward third.

McIlroy stuck his second into birdie range and the inevitable two shot swing that followed saw the Irishman lift the trophy.

It wasn’t the fairytale finish most had been hoping for but thanks to the play of McIlroy and Scott, it had certainly been an Australian Open to remember.

This article originally appeared on genesisgolflinkcup.com.au.

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adam scott on his excitement for this summer:

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