THE last time Adam Scott teed it up in competition at Royal Sydney he was one hole away from capping off a major championship-winning year with the Australian ‘Triple Crown’.
But the Queenslander has wiped that 72nd hole bogey at the 2013 Australian Open from the memory banks and is primed for this week’s charge at a second Stonehaven Cup this week.
“I certainly feel like I’d like to get a win here at Royal Sydney after what happened a few years ago. That burns a little bit,” Scott told reporters on Wednesday.
“It’s a course I feel very comfortable on, it’s a course where I can see all the shots and there’s nothing out there that gives me too many problems.
“I like the way it sets up for me and I just have to execute.”
Much was promised through three months of 2016 for Scott but from that point he failed to deliver any more silverware.
Back-to-back PGA Tour wins at The Honda Classic and WGC-Bridgestone Invitational left Scott and Australian golf fans dreaming of another major win to add to his 2013 green jacket but it wasn’t to be.
“Obviously after having a great start to the year and winning two events in a row and having a couple of second place finishes before that, the expectations naturally go up for the year,” he said.
“You think you’re going to storm through and have a career year and a memorable year but it didn’t quite happen.”
One of the game’s purest ball strikers, Scott’s precision with the flatstick early in 2016 led many to believe the 36-year-old was on the verge of joining the conversation about the world’s best player alongside countryman Jason Day and this week’s main foe Jordan Spieth.
“I didn’t have too many questions about putting after March,” joked Scott. “So that’s been nice!”
“I played really well but I think my short game let me down a little bit this year, certainly that was the general feel.
“It was a bit lean on the wins after such a great start, it would’ve been great to keep the momentum rolling at least for another couple of months and maybe contend a little better in the majors.
“That’s kind of what my whole focus is so I’m disappointed with that.”
Scott on his excitement for this summer:
With Steve Williams back on the bag this week Scott has put in a mountain of work in preparation for Thursday’s first round, arriving in Sydney having not competed in more than two weeks.
“I came down for a couple of hits last week and refreshed myself with the course,“ said Scott.
Early week practice rounds and Wednesday’s Pro-am have all been played in warm temperatures and with the threat of strong winds, Scott admits he’s bracing for some difficult weather that should impact the scoring this week.
“It could get a little spicy out there on the weekend, that’ll make things interesting for us,” he said.
“I’ve done a fair bit of work over the last couple of days around the greens and my short game.
“If that’s sharp enough this week that’ll put me in with a good show.”
Star Australian amateur trio Curtis Luck, Brett Coletta and Harrison Endycott followed Scott into the media centre on Wednesday afternoon with many suggesting this week is an amateur’s best chance at lifting the Stonehaven Cup since Aaron Baddeley’s staggering win at this same course in 1999.
West Australian Luck should be considered a genuine threat to World Number Five Spieth and Number Seven Scott, after claiming the US Amateur and Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship in recent months.
Both of those victories earned Luck a debut ticket to Augusta National for next April’s Masters, Scott reaffirming that he’d be happy to help guide Luck and the next generation of Australian young guns as they near the pay-for-play ranks.
“I don’t know if I want to mess him up at all!” joked Scott when asked about taking Luck under his wing.
“He looks like he’s doing a pretty good job of getting it around at the moment.
“Of course I’m very happy to play with any of these guys if they want to have a hit next year but I certainly don’t want to get in their business because they know what they’re doing.
“If I can be of any assistance, for sure. But I don’t want them to beat me!”
Scott tees off at 12:10pm on Thursday afternoon alongside fellow former champion Baddeley and Venezuelan drawcard Jhonattan Vegas.
Photo: Justin Falconer
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