The unique ISPS Handa Australian Open – held over two courses with men’s, women’s and all-abilities divisions playing concurrently – featured a trio of great finishes on Sunday, but the final round wasn’t kind to the natives in their national open.
On the men’s side, 54-hole leader Adam Scott struggled to a 2-over 72 thanks to a crucial double-bogey on the par-4 17th. After making eagle at the par-5 18th the previous two rounds at Victoria Golf Club, the 2013 Masters champion instead signed for a par on Sunday to seal his runner-up fate at 9 under. Adrian Meronk, on the other hand, eagled the final hole to sign for a 4-under 66 to extend his winning margin to five shots at 14 under.
Two more Aussies finished in the top five as Aussie Min Woo Lee placed third at 8 under, with Haydn Barron T-4 at 7 under alongside Alejandro Canizares.
“I’m super excited and to finish like that on the 18th hole is just unreal,” said Meronk.
On the women’s side, three Aussies finished Nos. 3-5 while Ashleigh Buhai claimed a one-shot win over Jiyai Shin at 12 under after Shin missed a putt to force a playoff on the final hole. Hannah Green led after 54 holes, but similar to Scott, a 2-over 72 on Sunday saw her fall off the pace to finish two shots back in third at 10 over. Grace Kim was 2 under through 15 holes in the final round but a costly double-bogey on the par-5 18th brought her back to even on the day and fourth at 9 under for the tournament. Minjee Lee shot a 1-under 71 to finish fifth at 8 under.
Kipp Popert won the all-abilities division with ease thanks to the lone round under par on Sunday, a 3-under 69. Currently No. 1 on the World Ranking for Golfers with Disability, Popert finished the three-round event at 2 under, seven shots clear of runner-up Kurtis Barkley.