Adam Scott wins at Riviera, and this time it counts

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Adam Scott, of Australia, tees off on the second hole during the final round of the Genesis Invitational golf tournament at Riviera Country Club, Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020, in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ryan Kang)

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Adam Scott contemplated the safe shot to get him out of his mess on the 15th hole at Riviera, knowing it would probably cost him his two-shot lead but not yet the tournament.

On a Sunday filled with big blunders and untimely mistakes, Scott changed his mind.

“I thought, ‘Well, you can maybe win the tournament if you hit a great flop shot here.’ So I thought I might as well go for it,” Scott said after his two-shot victory in the Genesis Invitational, this one that counts in the record book.

The flop shot to 5 feet allowed him to escape with bogey. Two holes later, he ran in a 10-foot birdie putt for a two-shot cushion and carried that to a 1-under 70 and a win that felt overdue.

Scott won the Australian PGA two months ago and hadn't played since then. Still, it had been nearly four years since his last PGA Tour victory. That changed at Riviera, his favorite course, on a final day so tough no shot shot better than 68.

Scott made clutch putts for birdie, par and bogey. But it was that decision — and the shot — that stood out.

“I had a little bit of that kind of mindset, not just today but the whole week, of ‘what have I got to lose?’ ... Give myself a good chance to get back in the winner's circcle on the PGA Tour,” he said.

The victory comes 15 years after Scott won a playoff at Riviera that didn't count as official because rain shortened the tournament to 36 holes. He earned every bit of this victory, his 14th on the PGA Tour and 29th worldwide.