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SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Adam Scott says he has a “score to settle” with Rory McIlroy when they clash at the Australian Open in Sydney in two weeks.
Scott missed a chance for a perfect ending to 2013 when he bogeyed the final hole of last year’s Open at Royal Sydney to allow McIlroy to capture the historic Stonehaven Cup when the Northern Irishman holed a 16-foot birdie putt at the same hole.
They will return for a rematch from Nov. 27-30 most likely as the two top-ranked players in the world, though the venue will change to another course in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, The Australian Golf Club where Jack Nicklaus won the 1978 Open.
After making history in 2013 when he become the first Australian to win the Masters at Augusta National, Scott almost claimed Australia's "triple crown" that year when he won the country's other two big tournaments prior to the Open.
“It’s great for me that Rory’s going back,” he told reporters at the WGC-HSBC Champions tournament in Shanghai last weekend.
“I was really gutted to lose last year leading on the last. I’d done everything I needed to do to take the lot down there and I messed up on the last, which was very frustrating. I don’t need too much motivation to want to go back and win.”
The victory paved the way for McIlroy’s brilliant 2014 season, in which he stormed to two major titles and reclaimed the world number one ranking.
“He didn’t look like a guy who was low on confidence,” Scott recalled of McIlroy, who had struggled at times during 2013 by his own high standards and had not won a tournament.
“He played flawless that Sunday. He was looking ominous. He did everything you’d expect from a top player.”
While McIlroy has enjoyed a spectacular 2014 campaign, Scott has been steady rather than spectacular, with his lone win coming at the Crowne Plaza Invitational in Texas.
McIlroy and Scott have not played in the same event since the Tour Championship in Atlanta in September.
McIlroy will resume after a break at next week’s DP World Tour Championship in Dubai, the final event on the European Tour schedule, while the 34-year-old Scott will defend his crown at the Australian Masters in Melbourne.
Editing by Ed Osmond