VICTORIA Scott withstood a fierce late challenge from international teammate Joann Hardwick to win the Royal Hongkong Golf Club Ladies Championship for the third time yesterday. Four-up with nine holes remaining, 28-year-old Scott saw her lead whittled away on the home stretch and needed to get up and down from off the green at the last for a half to secure a tense one-hole triumph. Despite being frequently out-driven by her opponent, Scott putted solidly throughout the 36 holes on Fanling's New Course and trailed only once after a bogey-four at the short fourth in the morning round. All square after 15 holes, Scott edged ahead with a birdie-three at the 16th and won the 18th with a par to go into lunch with a two-hole advantage. Although Hardwick hit back to win the first two holes of the afternoon round, Scott then took command by winning four of the next seven holes. But Hardwick ensured a grandstand finish by claiming the 12th with a par and the 13th and 15th with birdies. But Scott stood firm to win the title for the third time following previous successes in 1989 and 1991. The victory is a major boost to Scott's confidence prior to next month's Asia-Pacific women's amateur team championship for the Queen Sirikit Cup in Perth, Australia. There she will line-up alongside Hardwick and Bronwen Morrow in the 12-nation, 54-hole event. Meanwhile, Hardwick's father Joe, of the Royal Hongkong club, celebrates 40 years as a professional with an April Fool's Day scramble this morning for some of his fellow Hongkong golfers.