While his closest competitors were unable to keep the wheels from falling off on their rounds, Australian Adam Scott steadied himself following a rough couple of holes on the front nine and held on for victory Sunday at the Genesis Invitational in Pacific Palisades, Calif.
After posting birdies and Nos. 1 and 3, Scott posted a bogey on the par-3 fourth hole and a double-bogey 6 on No. 5, putting him at 1 over for the day. But he birdied the par-3 sixth hole, then played the final 12 holes at 1-under par to finish with 70 for the day and an 11-under 273 for the tournament at Riviera Country Club.
A birdie putt of almost 11 feet on No. 17 allowed him to play the final hole with a two-shot cushion.
Scott Brown (68), Matt Kuchar (72) and South Korea's Sung Kang (69) tied for second at 9-under. Five golfers finished at 8 under, including Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy.
Kuchar and McIlroy began the day tied for the lead with Scott, but unlike the winner, they couldn't get back enough strokes once their rounds started getting away from them.
McIlroy, the No. 1-ranked player in the world, also birdied No. 1 and headed to No. 5 at 1 under. But while Scott put up a 6 on the hole, McIlroy shot a triple-bogey 7, then followed with a bogey 5 on No. 6. While Scott made the turn at even par, McIlroy did so at 3 over. Like Scott, he had two birdies and a bogey on the back nine, and never threatened.
McIlroy has four top-five finishes in as many starts this season.
Kuchar birdied No. 1 and bogeyed No. 2, but then posted seven straight pars to match Scott at even through nine. But bogey 5s on Nos. 10 and 12 put Kuchar two back. He, too, could never get back to Scott.
It was Scott's 14th career win on the PGA Tour. His previous Tour win prior to Sunday was the 2016 WGC-Mexico. The next stop on tour? Next weekend's WGC-Mexico.
"It's a big step for both," Scott, 39, said on the CBS broadcast when asked what the win means for him personally and professionally. "Whatever point in my career I'm at and I hadn't won for three years? And this feels very special. Thank you to my crew and my family."
The win is also Scott's second in as many starts, as his last time out was his first-place finish at the Australian PGA Championship in December.
Scott won at Riviera in 2005, but that is not one of his 14 Tour wins as weather limited that tournament to 36 holes and thus making it not an official event.
"It feels really good. I mean that's fun to poke fun at the thing in '05 but it is 15 years ago so I've really moved on from that by now," Scott laughed when the first question in his post-match news conference was about 2005. "But it's incredibly satisfying to win a tournament of this stature on a golf course of this stature."
Tiger Woods, who blew strong starts on both Thursday and Friday and struggled to a 76 on Saturday, posted a 6-over 77 on Sunday to finish at 11-over par, last among those who made the cut. Per Golf Channel, this was the first time Woods finished last among the field after making the cut since the 2015 Memorial.
Nonetheless, Woods tried to view his weekend in a positive light.
"Well, considering the fact that I look at it, that this part of my career really didn't exist a few years ago. So to be able to do that no matter what I shoot, it's still disappointing, it's still frustrating," Woods said, per Golf Channel.
"I'm still a little ticked -- but I also look at it from a perspective which I didn't do most of my career. I have a chance to play going down the road. A few years ago, that wasn't the case."
--Field Level Media