(CNN) -- Rory McIlroy salvaged his "frustrating year" with a dramatic victory in the Australian Open Sunday to shatter Adam Scott's hopes of completing his domestic triple crown.
World No.2 Scott was bidding to match Robert Allenby's 2005 feat of winning the Australian PGA, Australian Masters and Australian Open crowns in the same season, but instead McIlroy took advantage of some late lapses to capture his only title of 2013.
The Northern Irishman rolled home a 10-foot birdie putt on the final hole to complete a final round of six-under 66 for 18-under 270.
It left him a shot clear of Scott, who had led since carding a course record 62 at Royal Sydney on the first day.
McIlroy, who has been blighted by problems both on and of the course, could scarcely believe his good fortune, but it was reward for dogged play having started the final round four shots behind Scott.
"I'm really pleased but since September I've just felt in a better place mentally with some of the things off the course," he told gathered reporters.
McIlroy, who has changed his management team, which now includes his father Gerry, showed promise of better things to come with his sixth place finish in the WGC-HSBC Champions event in China and tied fifth in the World Tour Championship in Dubai.
Having started 2013 in top spot, he has slipped to sixth in the rankings with a previous best finish of second in the Texas Open and disappointing displays in the four majors.
"It's been a frustrating year," he admitted. "I've worked hard to win golf tournaments and it's really nice to do it today."
U.S. Masters champion Scott looked a heavy favorite to finish the season on a historic high, but was let down by his putter.
"It was always going to be a tough day and Rory made his move and I just couldn't knock in the putts you expect to make," he said.
Scott might have moved two clear of McIlroy but he three putted the 16th and lipped out a birdie effort on the 17th.
Still leading by a shot playing the last, Scott's approach went past the flag and a poor chip left him a 40 footer for par, which he missed, leaving the door open for two-time major winner McIlroy.
Australia's John Senden shot a final day 66 to claim third spot, seven shots adrift.
But he secured one of three 2014 British Open Championship qualifying spots on offer this week, with the others claimed by compatriots Bryden Macpherson and Rhein Gibson.
Meanwhile on the European Tour, former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel won the Alfred Dunhill Championship for the second straight year.
The South African finished four shots clear of Englishman Richard Finch at Leopard Creek to delight the home galleries.