Sport Golf Harold Varner storms home to win Australian PGA
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Harold Varner storms home to win Australian PGA

Harold Varner III
Steady hands ... Harold Varner III did more than just hold his nerve in the final round. Photo: AAP
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A year after being denied in a playoff, American Harold Varner III has won the Australian PGA Championship.

Varner shot a closing seven-under-par 65 to finish 19-under for the tournament, two shots clear of Queenslander Andrew Dodt (69) at Royal Pines on the Gold Coast on Sunday.

Adam-Scott
Adam Scott was forced to settle for third place.

World No.7 Adam Scott had to settle for third place, two shots further back, after a patchy closing 67 in his last event of the year.

Runner-up to Nathan Holman after a playoff last year, the win marked world No.184 Varner’s first professional victory since 2013.

It was also by far the 26-year-old’s biggest win – the other two coming in third-tier eGolf Tour events in the US.

Four consecutive birdies between the 7th and 10th gave him the lead on Sunday – the first time anyone had overtaken Dodt since early in the second round.

But he still had his moments.

He missed a one-metre putt on the 14th and bogeyed, just as Dodt sunk a long putt to birdie and regain a tie for the lead.

However Varner wasn’t to be denied.

He birdied the 15th to take a one-shot lead, then birdied again on the 17th to all but secure the win.

Meanwhile, Scott’s anticipated charge was halted by uncharacteristic errors off the tee in an up-and-down round.

The former world No.1 regularly found trees, rough or bunker as he attempted to win the Joe Kirkwood Cup for a second time in his home town.

He sunk a 10-metre eagle putt on the 15th to surge back into contention, however could only par the final three holes.

Victorian Ashley Hall, who began the day in a tie for second with Varner was fourth, five shots off the pace after a 70.

Brett Rumford shot a 67 to finish fifth, while Dutchman Darius Van Driel (67), amateur Brett Coletta (69) and veteran John Senden (74) all tied for sixth at eight-under.

-AAP

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