Rory McIlroy ended his year long wait for a title by winning the Australian open beating the home favourite Adam Scott after he birdied the final hole.
McIlroy has faced many problems off the course this year in relation to his management team, his change in sponsorship and his relationship. However, the Northern Irishman insists that he is in a better place after the critical press attention he has received all year.
He said: “I’ve been building confidence for a few weeks now. When I went to Asia, I started to play really well. I’ve worked hard. I’ve put the hours in and I’ve practised hard and finally it’s turned around for me.”
The 24 year old finished on a round of 66 on the final day totalling 18 under on the scorecard. Although Scott broke the course record on the opening day with a round of 62, the Aussie bogeyed on the final hole of the last day and finished narrowly behind of 17 under.
Scott said: “I’m gutted. I felt I’d never have a better chance to win the Aussie Open. I just slightly misjudged a few putts, overplayed the break, missed a lot of putts on the high side and didn’t quite have the eye – and it always gets a lot trickier on the Sunday.”
It was a duel between the two players throughout the final two rounds with each of having opportunities to put the stamp on the match.
Scott led the pack all week but he missed several opportunities to seal the win. He was agonisingly close to getting an eagle on the 13th as his ball shaved the edge of the hole. He then bogeyed on the final hole and allowed his opponent the chance to steal the match.
McIlroy began the day four off the lead but he managed to go 6 under on the day. He scored an eagle on the ninth along with two birdies on the front and the back nine.
It’s been a hard year for the World number 6 who has faced constant criticism from the media. Since joining Nike at the start of the season, he has failed to recapture his form from the past couple of the seasons and this has shown with his lack of titles.
In terms of Majors, McIlroy has only managed to reach the final day of one of the events and that was at the PGA Championships where he finished 8th overall. He finished 25th at the Masters and failed to produce at the US and British Open.
Others have pointed at his relationship for why he has gone off form this season as there was rumours that he and Tennis player, Caroline Wozniacki had broken up. These claims were dismissed by the pair.
In September, he broke up with management team, Horizon Sports, due to a dispute over fees which coincided with his new sponsorship deal in January. This development has been in the back of his mind as the year has gone on and now that it’s almost resolved, he’s finally a contender.
As one of the highest paid players in sport, McIlroy will be expected to be fresh for the major events as he can’t afford to have another poor season if he wants to regain the number one spot.