By Josh Ball, PGA.com Contributor
SOUTHAMPTON, Bermuda - With another sparkling 6-iron, another trophy for the cabinet and a pink jacket to go with his green one, Adam Scott is making a habit of producing head-turning shots when it matters most.
Tied with Justin Rose at 6 under par going down the par-5 17th hole at Port Royal Golf Course Wednesday, the Australian hit a curving, climbing, laser-guided 6-iron from 190 yards that was inches from holing out from the fairway.
As it was, the tap-in eagle that followed was the killer blow that ended a duel with Rose that had gone back and forth for much of the day, gave Scott a new course record 7-under 64, and added the PGA Grand Slam of Golf to his growing list of achievements.
The shot was reminiscent of the one he hit at the 10th hole at Augusta National during his playoff with Angel Cabrera last April, and might have convinced him to keep the new 6-iron in his bag for the time being.
"This one's got some good stuff in it, too," said Scott. "I'm going to keep using it for a little while."
The good stuff wasn't limited to the 6-iron. The Masters champion produced a bogey-free round in the wind and rain that won the tournament, far more than Rose's solitary bogey on the back nine, at 16, lost it.
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"It's been fun, but a trying couple of days here really, especially today," said Scott. "It felt like a long round out there, and standing on the 11th tee, it didn't look like a score like that was going to be possible, but I played very well and managed to slowly claw away at Justin."
Scott finished at 8 under for the tournament, overturning a four-shot deficit in the process, and ended the day two shots ahead of overnight leader Rose, whose 2-under par 69 left him 6 under for the two days.
"I started with a two-shot lead and somebody had to shoot well to beat me," said Rose. "When you're in that position you want to close it out, but when somebody finishes it out like that, you have to tip your hat and say you were beaten rather than losing."
A run of four birdies from the fourth gave Rose a four-shot lead over Scott, who rattled off three birdies of his own on the front nine, and even a bogey at No. 9 for Rose could do little to dampen the expectation that it would be the U.S. Open champion's day.
However, the momentum swung Scott's way at the par-3 13th, when Rose missed the green and could only make par while Scott drained his birdie putt from five feet.
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At 7 under, Rose still had a two-shot lead, which became one at 15 when he narrowly missed a 30-foot birdie putt and Scott drained his from 25 feet.
"At one back and with those three holes, anything can happen," said Scott. "So I didn't ... I guess the momentum was on my side, but I was just thinking I need to hit good shots and see whether he can respond because I had honor."
The pair were level once Rose hit the ball into the hazard at 16 and could only manage a bogey. And then came Scott's shot at the 17th, which ended the argument in an emphatic fashion.
"I struggled and hit one bad shot [on the back nine]," said Rose. "I didn't hit a lot of great shots on the back nine, that's what I will say, but I was hanging on. And Adam, to give him credit there, had an amazing finish."
Given the tussle that was going on between Rose and Scott, it was easy to forget that Jason Dufner and Padraig Harrington were also playing.
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Dufner actually began the day in second, 2 under and two shots back of Rose, but he never got going on the front nine and was well off the pace for much of the day.
Bogeys at Nos. 4, 10, and 16 were balanced out by four birdies on the back nine, leaving him 1 under for the day and 3 under for the tournament.
"A little bit of a slow start today to go with a poor finish yesterday kind of put me behind it," said Dufner. "When the sun came out and the rain went away, I played a little bit better. But, I just didn't get a good start, and trying to catch a guy when you're making bogeys, and they are grinding it out, is difficult."
Harrington's second round was only marginally better than his first, and his level-par 71 left him 3 over for the two days.
"I knew I needed to get off to a quick start, which didn't happen, and you know, trying to catch up with the guys," he said. "I had done all the damage yesterday - it was a tough ask. If you don't get a big start, it certainly is a long way back."
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