Adam Scott’s Australian Masters title disappointment has been compounded with the loss of his world No.
Scott was overtaken by Henrik Stenson, who won the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai to jump from fourth to second.
However, what might soften the blow is that Stenson beat world No.1 Rory McIlroy to do it.
Scott and McIlroy will square off this week at the Australian Open in Sydney, where the Queenslander hopes to gain some revenge for last year’s 18th-hole loss to the Northern Irishman.
While Scott’s summer of Australian golf didn’t start the way he wanted, he can take some solace that it wasn’t all smooth sailing for McIlroy either.
Scott’s hopes of a third consecutive Australian Masters title fell one stroke short and almost the same happened for McIlroy’s title plans in Dubai.
Scott was forced to settle for a share of second when a 20-metre birdie putt on the 18th at Metropolitan, that would have put him level with eventual winner Nick Cullen, lipped out.
And then Cullen nailed a spectacular bunker shot on the same hole to tap in for par to secure his shock win.
“It was my last hope. It was looking so good,” Scott said.
“Some of the pins were really tough and I made a couple of errors like everyone did and, from where I was, I needed to make none.”
An opening 73 in tough windy conditions didn’t help his cause and Scott admitted it took its toll.
“I just got knocked around a bit on Thursday with that northerly, got a bit out of sorts and it’s taken a couple of days to get back to where I thought I was,” Scott said.
While Scott was left to rue the 18th-hole birdie putt, McIlroy could say the same about “30 minutes of madness” – as two holes in the third round were dubbed.
McIlroy was tied with defending champion Stenson and then had back-to-back double-bogeys on the 12th and 13th at Jumeirah Golf Estates.
In those 30 minutes, he dropped from co-leader to outside the top 10.
While he made some amends, those dropped shots came back to haunt him in the final round when he finished two shots behind Stenson, who was 16-under-par.
Scott flew out of Melbourne to Sydney on Sunday night to start preparations for the Open.