McIlroy finishes on two over in Australia

Jordan Spieth smashed the course record in Sydney to claim the Australian Open, while Rory McIlroy finished on two over.

The American carded a final round 63 to end the weekend on 13 under par, a full six shots clear of Aussie, Rod Pampling.

Rory McIlroy ended the weekend with a final round of 72, and congratulated Spieth.

Jordan Spieth saved his best for last – and produced an unintentional touching moment – as a sensational eight-under-par final round lifted him to victory in the Australian Open.

Spieth carded 63 in Sydney, a number that will resonate with a lot of Australians as that was the score cricketer Phillip Hughes was on before he died on Thursday from injuries sustained from being hit by a ball in the neck in a domestic game in the same city.

It is somewhat poignant that the American finished with a flourish on what would have been Hughes’ 26th birthday on Sunday, a score that lifted him to 13-under overall and a six-shot win at the Australian Golf Club.

The 21-year-old Texan began steadily enough despite a strong wind that appeared to make a low score nigh-on impossible.

Three straight pars were followed by birdies at four of his next five holes which ignited his challenge and sent him clear at the top of the leaderboard.

It was a position he did not relinquish and birdies at the 14th, 15th, 17th and 18th carried him to a new course record and victory in his first appearance Down Under.

It is the highly-talented Spieth’s second career victory, having broken his duck on the PGA Tour at the John Deere Classic last year.

Rod Pampling finished as runner-up on seven-under overall after a commendable 68 while Australian compatriots Brett Rumford and Greg Chalmers were third and fourth respectively.

World number three Adam Scott, who lost on the final hole in this event to Rory McIlroy 12 months ago, managed a top-five finish this year.

McIlroy’s hopes of defending his title were dashed on Saturday, when a triple and double bogey on successive holes around the turn dropped him from a share of the lead to five shots off the pace, and he finished on two-over after his final-round 72.

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