Patient Scott: Barely noticed, Masters champ gets another shot at putting his name on the jug

  • Article by: PAUL NEWBERRY , AP National Writer
  • Updated: July 21, 2013 - 7:32 AM

Last year, the Aussie let the British Open title slip from his grasp. Now, he'll try to chase it down.

Adam Scott

Photo: Darron Cummings, ASSOCIATED PRESS - AP

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

GULLANE, Scotland — Funny thing, Adam Scott likes this spot even better.

A year ago, Scott took a four-shot lead to the final round of the British Open, only to throw away the claret jug with four straight bogeys at the end. It was a crushing loss, one that earned the Aussie a place among the greatest choke jobs in major championship history.

Well, the sting was softened greatly in April when Scott finally won his first major title with a nerve-racking playoff win over Angel Cabrera, removing any doubts about whether he could deal with the pressure of a high-stakes game.

And, now, Scott goes to the final round at Muirfield as the chaser rather than the chasee.

Scott shot a 1-under 70 on Saturday, quietly keeping himself in contention for his second major title, quietly giving himself a chance to finally get his name on one of golf's most venerable awards — just one line lower than he knows it should've been.

"It's a good feeling to sit here in this position. Absolutely," Scott said. "It's completely different. I go out there tomorrow not carrying the weight of the lead or not having won a major. It's a different feeling. Hopefully I can play enough quality shots to give myself chances to be in the hunt at the end."

On a crusty course that is playing extremely tough despite the un-Scottish-like weather — three straight days of warm, sunny conditions, with a forecast for more of the same Sunday — Scott has yet to shoot in the 60s.

But he's played as solidly as anyone, avoiding the sort of major mistakes that can ruin the entire tournament on one hole.

Scott opened on par with a 71, followed up with a decent-enough 72, and kept himself right in the mix with his best score yet Saturday — a 70 that totaled out to a nice, even 213 — just three strokes behind leader Lee Westwood, with only two other guys between Scott and the top spot on the board.

Scott was trying not to get too far ahead of himself.

"It's a long way off," he said. "The course, it can turn around on you in a heartbeat out there, if you're not careful. I'll be treading cautiously."

While Scott was praised for the gracious way he handled his horrendous defeat at Lytham, it's obvious the pain of that moment has stuck with him. Not even a green jacket can totally erase the sting.

"I haven't thought about the entirety of it at all," he said. "I thought it's best not to. Just take a couple of bits that I wanted to and leave it as an experience. The way I remember it is only a great week. I'm done with that."

He's learned there's no substitute for patience.

While others have raced up — and down — the leaderboard, Scott has stuck to his plan. He's content to make pars, gone for the birdies when the chance presents itself, tried to limit the sort of brutal holes like that one that finished off Martin Laird — a 9 at the par-4 third when he was one shot off the lead Saturday.

Scott's card is remarkably clean through 54 holes: eight birdies, eight bogeys, the rest pars.

"I'm just kind of plodding along at even par for most of the week," he said. "The lead was 6 under early, so I was well off the radar. But the course is playing tougher every day, so I've somehow crept back into it."

It helps having Steve Williams on the bag.

The veteran caddie was there with Tiger Woods for 13 of his major titles. After they had a nasty falling-out, Williams hooked up with Scott and proved to be an invaluable resource helping him get his first.

"His experience is there in these events where par is a good score," Scott said. "He prides himself on keeping his man at par or better, no matter how hard the course is. And we play it in a way according to that. So we're right around the mark. At times when you want to push, he's there to pull the reins in, if need be. He knows it's 72 holes and it can't be won on the sixth on Friday. He's got the big picture in mind when it comes to the 72-hole outcome."

From the looks of things this week, that perspective has certainly rubbed off on Scott.

"Absolutely," he said, "to the point where I think we just walk out there with almost the same mindset now. And it's proven to work, as well. My results have been good the last couple of years with Steve in the big events, and my scoring average has been a lot better."

Who knows?

Maybe the guy at the top of the leaderboard will feel the sort of burden that weighed down Scott a year ago. Westwood has never won a major title, despite being a perennial contender.

Scott doesn't have to worry about that anymore.

"I feel like I've got, well, nothing really to lose and majors to gain," he said. "That's certainly a nice feeling, whereas before in some ways it was getting to the point where you're hoping it was going to happen. It is absolutely a weight off your shoulders to have the first one."

Now, it's time to go back for seconds.

"It would be a fairy tale if that were to happen," he said. "But they do occasionally happen."

  • related content

  • Adam Scott

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

New Orleans 28 FINAL
Carolina 10
Tampa Bay 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Arizona 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Dallas
Philadelphia 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Houston
NY Jets 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Jacksonville 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
San Diego 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Washington 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
St. Louis 11/2/14 3:05 PM
San Francisco
Denver 11/2/14 3:25 PM
New England
Oakland 11/2/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Baltimore 11/2/14 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Indianapolis 11/3/14 7:30 PM
NY Giants
Memphis 6:00 PM
Indiana
Cleveland 7:00 PM
Chicago
Philadelphia 7:30 PM
Milwaukee
Portland 9:00 PM
Sacramento
San Antonio 9:00 PM
Phoenix
LA Clippers 9:30 PM
LA Lakers
Toronto 6:00 PM
Columbus
Los Angeles 6:30 PM
Detroit
Anaheim 7:30 PM
Dallas
Nashville 8:00 PM
Calgary
(2) Florida State 42 FINAL
Louisville 31
Troy 10 FINAL
Ga Southern 42
Cincinnati 7:00 PM
Tulane
Tulsa 7:02 PM
Memphis
Air Force 11/1/14 10:30 AM
Army
ULM 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Texas A&M
(19) Oklahoma 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
Northwestern 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Iowa
(24) Duke 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Maryland 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Wisconsin 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
Rice 11/1/14 11:00 AM
FIU
(21) East Carolina 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Temple
UCF 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Connecticut
Boston College 11/1/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
North Carolina 11/1/14 11:30 AM
Miami-Florida
Washington 11/1/14 12:00 PM
Colorado
Central Mich 11/1/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Western Mich 11/1/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Western Ky 11/1/14 2:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
NC State 11/1/14 2:00 PM
Syracuse
Virginia 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Georgia Tech
Purdue 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(17) Nebraska
BYU 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Middle Tennessee
(10) TCU 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(20) West Virginia
Indiana 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(9) Georgia
Georgia State 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Appalachian St
Kentucky 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Kansas 11/1/14 3:00 PM
(12) Baylor
Texas State 11/1/14 3:00 PM
New Mexico St
Houston 11/1/14 3:00 PM
So Florida
USC 11/1/14 3:30 PM
Washington St
Arkansas State 11/1/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
South Alabama 11/1/14 4:00 PM
Louisiana
New Mexico 11/1/14 4:30 PM
UNLV
UAB 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
(4) Auburn 11/1/14 6:00 PM
(7) Ole Miss
Old Dominion 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Colorado State 11/1/14 6:00 PM
San Jose St
Arkansas 11/1/14 6:15 PM
(1) Miss State
Stanford 11/1/14 6:30 PM
(5) Oregon
Tennessee 11/1/14 6:30 PM
So Carolina
Texas 11/1/14 6:30 PM
Texas Tech
Southern Miss 11/1/14 7:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
(6) Notre Dame 11/1/14 7:00 PM
Navy
Oklahoma State 11/1/14 7:00 PM
(11) Kansas State
Illinois 11/1/14 7:00 PM
(13) Ohio State
(14) Arizona 11/1/14 9:30 PM
(25) UCLA
California 11/1/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
San Diego St 11/1/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Wyoming 11/1/14 9:45 PM
Fresno State
(18) Utah 11/1/14 10:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Utah State 11/1/14 10:00 PM
Hawaii
Bowling Green 11/4/14 7:00 PM
Akron
Toledo 11/4/14 7:00 PM
Kent State
Buffalo 11/5/14 7:00 PM
Ohio U
Northern Ill 11/5/14 7:00 PM
Ball State
(22) Clemson 11/6/14 6:30 PM
Wake Forest
Hamilton 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Winnipeg 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Toronto 11/2/14 11:00 AM
Montreal
Ottawa 11/7/14 6:00 PM
Toronto
Calgary 11/7/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Montreal 11/8/14 3:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 11/8/14 6:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close