McIlroy pips Scott in Sydney

Rory McIlroy finally has his first victory of 2013 after edging out Adam Scott on the 72nd hole of the Australian Open.

Scott started the day with a four-shot lead, seemingly on course to claim the triple crown of Australian golf after winning both the Australian Masters and PGA in recent weeks, but the Masters champion could only manage a 71 while McIlroy shot a superb 66 to seal the one-shot victory.

It all came down to the final hole, where McIlroy snatched a birdie as Scott bogeyed to see the lead change hands right at the death.

Highlights of McIlroy’s round included an eagle at the par-five seventh and a birdie from close range on the very next hole.

Scott then birdied the ninth to retake a lead after seeing his overnight four-shot advantage evaporate, and after matching birdies on the 13th, they headed to the 18th with Scott still leading by one.

But Scott would miss the green and then overhit his chip shot to leave himself too long a putt for par, allowing McIlroy to sink a simple five-footer for a birdie and the title.

It’s the Northern Irishman’s first win since last year’s DP Championship in Dubai.

“I stayed patient, I knew anything could happen,” said McIlroy after his round.

“I always believed I could win, he (Scott) had a couple of chances but was unlucky.

“The support this week was phenomenal, the atmosphere was fantastic.”

Of whether he would return next year, McIlroy added: “I’ve always tried to come back and defend wherever I’ve won.”