Scott just claims biggest victory

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The Independent Online

Adam Scott left his chip at the last 10 feet short but mad the put to claim the biggest prize of his career and become, at 23, the youngest winner the Players' Championship here yesterday.

Adam Scott left his chip at the last 10 feet short but mad the put to claim the biggest prize of his career and become, at 23, the youngest winner the Players' Championship here yesterday.

The Australian's cool nerves on the green after a chip that the former major winner Johnny Miller called "one of the worst shots I have ever seen under pressure" meant that Padraig Harrington had to make do with second place, for the 21st time in his career.

Scott's final round of 70 was just enough to earn him the £800,000 first prize with a 12-under-par aggregate of 276. Harrington finishjed with a 66 for 277 and walked away with £480,000. Kenny Perry, Phil Mickelsen and Frank Lickliter shared third place three shots further back.

Tiger Woods, the world No 1, had hauled himself back from an opening 75 to make the cut by two shots with a 69 and then put himself in contention with a third round of 68. But he failed to mount a challenge and slipped back into the pack with a closing 73 to finish nine shots off the pace on 285.

Paul Casey, making his debut in the event, also had a promising middle pair of rounds, but he could not put himself in weith a chance either. He threatened at the start when he two-putted the long second and then made a 10-footer at the fourth to be only three shots off the lead.

But he took three from the fringe of the sixth, then missed the green at the short eighth and dropped another stroke. In the end he returned a level par 72 and had to be content with a very respectable first outing here, finishing joint 10th on 283.

In the Madeira Island Open yesterday, Sweden's Christopher Hanell won after Australia's Brad Kennedy twice cruelly fell victim to the 18th.

Kennedy mistakenly signed for a quadruple-bogey eight instead of a seven in his third round 80 in the morning, to fall five shots off the lead. And after a superb final round fightback in gale-force winds, the 29-year-old bogeyed the 18th to miss out on a play-off by a single stroke. Hanell carded a closing 71 at Santo da Serra for a four-under total of 284, claiming his first European Tour title and a cheque for £67,153. Kennedy finished in a tie for second on three under, alongside Sweden's Steven Jeppesen and American Rob Rashell.

Welshman Garry Houston and Birmingham's Sam Walker were another shot back in fifth with second round leader Jamie Spence, who also carded a third round of 80, sharing seventh on one under.

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