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Adrian Meronk overhauls Adam Scott to win Australian Open as Ashleigh Buhai takes women’s crown

Adam Scott had one-shot lead heading into final day but Adrian Meronk shoots four-under 66 and wins by five shots in Melbourne; Ashleigh Buhai wins women’s event as Grace Kim double bogeys the last hole

Last Updated: 04/12/22 9:56am


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Highlights from the final round of the Australian Open in Melbourne where Adrian Meronk overhauls Adam Scott to win and Ashleigh Buhai wins the women’s event after Grace Kim double bogeys the last hole

Highlights from the final round of the Australian Open in Melbourne where Adrian Meronk overhauls Adam Scott to win and Ashleigh Buhai wins the women’s event after Grace Kim double bogeys the last hole

Adam Scott’s hopes of a second Australian Open crown crumbled in the heat and wind on Melbourne’s ‘Sandbelt’ on Sunday as Polish trailblazer Adrian Meronk coolly closed out a five-stroke win in style at Victoria Golf Club.

South Africa’s Ashleigh Buhai won the women’s component of the inaugural dual gender event by a stroke from Shin Jiyai, the South Korean missing a five-foot birdie putt that would have forced a playoff.

With the title sewn up early on the men’s side, Meronk drained a 40-foot eagle putt from off the 18th green, triggering a huge roar from the gallery.

The towering Pole, his country’s first winner on the European tour, was nearly bowled over by his thrilled girlfriend when she charged onto the green and leapt into his arms in celebration.

“To finish like that on the 18th hole, it’s unreal,” said 29-year-old Meronk, who shot a four-under 66 and was nearly flawless on a testing day.

Meronk was immediately congratulated by his partner on the 18th green

Meronk was immediately congratulated by his partner on the 18th green

Meronk drained a 40-foot eagle to clinch the title

Meronk drained a 40-foot eagle to clinch the title

“[Scott] was always my role model growing up… but beating him in the final group in front of the big crowds in Australia is just quite an unbelievable experience.”

He finished with a 14-under total of 268 in the tournament co-sanctioned with Europe’s DP World Tour, having humbled a wayward Scott in a Sunday shootout.

With a one-stroke overnight lead over Meronk and huge galleries in his corner, former world No 1 Scott had been in pole position to claim his country’s most prestigious golf trophy, 13 years after his first at New South Wales Golf Club.

Australia's Adam Scott was the overnight leader but fell back on Sunday

Australia’s Adam Scott was the overnight leader but fell back on Sunday

Adam Scott's hopes of a second Australian Open crown crumbled after a disastrous shank off the 17th tee snatched away his chances

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Adam Scott’s hopes of a second Australian Open crown crumbled after a disastrous shank off the 17th tee snatched away his chances

Adam Scott’s hopes of a second Australian Open crown crumbled after a disastrous shank off the 17th tee snatched away his chances

But back-to-back bogeys from the seventh hole put him three strokes behind before a disastrous shank off the 17th tee put paid to his tournament.

Forced to hit a provisional ball, Scott’s resulting double-bogey gave Meronk a three-stroke cushion, more than enough as it turned out.

Already the first Pole to win multiple European tour titles, Meronk’s ranking boost should be enough for him to become the first to qualify for the Masters.

Third-placed Min Woo Lee won exemption to the British Open along with fellow Australian Haydn Barron and Spain’s Alejandro Canizares, who finished joint fourth on seven-under.

South Africa's Ashleigh Buhai won the women's event in Melbourne

South Africa’s Ashleigh Buhai won the women’s event in Melbourne

In the women’s event, meanwhile, young gun Grace Kim had worked her way into a share of the lead with British Open winner Buhai in the final holes but a double-bogey on the 18th dropped her to fourth on nine-under, three strokes shy of the South African.

Buhai wobbled with bogeys on 14 and 16 but steadied with a birdie on the 17th to card a one-over 73 for a 12-under total of 277 for the tournament.

“I was hitting it really well so just wanted to see how low I could go,” said Buhai. “To be the champion here is an absolute honour.”

Adrian Meronk overhauls Adam Scott to win Australian Open as Ashleigh Buhai takes women's crown

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