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Scott finds way to peak on game's biggest stages

Australia's Adam Scott looks at his putt on the third hole during the final round of the 2013 PGA Championship golf tournament at Oak Hill C
Australia's Adam Scott looks at his putt on the third hole during the final round of the 2013 PGA Championship golf tournament at Oak Hill C

By Frank Pingue

ROCHESTER, New York (Reuters) - Adam Scott has enjoyed top-five finishes in three of the year's four major championships, including his breakthrough Masters win in April, but the Australian feels his best is yet to come.

After becoming the first golfer from his country to triumph at Augusta National, Scott went on to finish in a tie for third at last month's British Open at Muirfield and on Sunday earned a share of fifth at the PGA Championship.

"Obviously I'm peaking at the right times," Scott, who ended the year's final major five shots behind winner Jason Dufner, told reporters.

"It's hard to stay there for four days and have the lead the whole time, but I feel like I'm improving still. So it's something to build on for next year's season."

Fellow Australians Jason Day finished a further two shots back in a tie for eighth place after firing a three-under 67 in Sunday's final round while Marc Leishman closed with a two-under 68 to grab a share of 12th.

Not including the Americans, no other country was as well represented among the top-12 finishers at the PGA Championship, which to Scott is a sign of things to come.

"We've got a whole host of guys with the experience. It's just a matter of form," said Scott. "We have got the guys with the talent. That never goes away; it's just their form.

"When that comes back, we're going to be really strong. It wouldn't surprise me, you know, seeing Jason or myself or Leish do well to get right back in the mix."

Scott, who led the British Open by one shot with seven holes to play, had a fighting chance of winning at Oak Hill, or at least forcing a playoff, though he needed to navigate the East Course's challenging closing holes better with the leaders faltering.

Two under for the day when he arrived at the 16th tee, Scott was unable to find a fairway or hit a green in regulation the rest of the way.

He would go on to make bogeys at 16 and 18 which left him with no chance of catching Dufner, who was playing in the final group and went on to finish at 10 under.

"It was a bit of fun, the last glimmer of hope, you know. But then I had three poor drives to finish with," said Scott.

"I don't know what happened the last few holes, but I felt like I may as well have a go at it down 16.

"If I drive it in the fairway, it's just a wedge. If I could birdie them all, I would have finished 10 under and you never know."

(Editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes)

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