SYDNEY (AFP) – Rising American star Jordan Spieth dominated the final round to win the Australian Open by six shots and leave world number one Rory McIlroy and third-ranked Adam Scott floundering in his wake on Sunday.
Spieth carded a sizzling new course record of eight-under par 63 to finish the A$1.25 million ($1.06 million) OneAsia co-sanctioned tournament at 13-under 271.
It was 21-year-old Texan’s second tournament win after last year’s John Deere Classic in Illinois.
Spieth was runner-up at the Masters last April behind fellow American Bubba Watson, just missing out on being the first Masters rookie to win since Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979.
“There’s been a lot of close calls from the last time I won until now. It would be a lie if I didn’t say that it was eating at me a little bit,” Spieth said.
“It’s tough when you get so close so many times in big events against world-class fields and you’re not able to pull it off.
“I decided to take care of business today. It was just one of those rounds where I was in the zone and just focusing on each shot.
“At no point was I upset, it was very stress-free.”
Spieth took a grip on the final round with three consecutive birdies from the fifth to the seventh holes to go nine under and led by three strokes at the turn.
He had few problems holding on to his advantage in the homeward nine with four more birdies in his closing five holes.
With his commanding victory, Spieth’s world ranking is expected to climb from 14 to 11.
“I certainly have not played better than today. I felt it coming on last week (in Japan), striking the ball very well and my putter was close,” he said.
“I came into here with a lot of confidence and I had my coach here and so I knew that having him to cope with the little things that this could be a really good week.”
Spieth finished the 72 holes of the tournament with 22 birdies and just nine bogeys.
Australian Rod Pampling finished second at seven-under 277 with Brett Rumford third on six-under 278 and Greg Chalmers in fourth on five-under 279.
Scott lost momentum with a double-bogey seven at the fifth hole to drop back to two under and could make little headway on the tearaway leader to finish fifth with four-under 280.
The world number three had to take a penalty drop for an unplayable lie after blocking his tee shot into rough and then hooked his next shot back into the trees on the left.