Golf Tidbits: Added pressure doesn't faze Scott
05/27/2014 11:43 AM
05/27/2014 11:52 AM
Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Adam Scott rose to the top spot in the world rankings a week ago, and one might have thought added pressure would bother him at Colonial.
That person would be wrong, though that theory seemed pretty solid as the first round unfolded.
Scott, who rose to No. 1 in the world for the first time in his career, struggled to four bogeys over his first nine holes. He only dropped four shots, two bogeys and one double, over the final 63 holes.
The Australian settled in, and managed to card three birdies on his second nine of the opening round as he posted a 1-over 71. Scott poured in 14 birdies over his final 54 holes to finish at 9-under par for the tournament.
It would have been a solid week if that was the end of the story. It wasn't.
Scott fought his way into a playoff with Jason Dufner. The duo both won their first major championship in 2013.
After they matched pars on the first extra hole, Dufner stuffed his approach inside five feet on the second playoff hole. But Scott poured in his 14-foot birdie putt first to putt the pressure on Dufner. The reigning PGA Champion matched Scott's birdie and they returned to the 18th.
Scott knocked his second to seven feet after Dufner hit a poor second shot. Dufner's 35-foot birdie try failed to drop and that opened the door for Scott.
The 2013 Masters winner slammed the door shut as he made his birdie putt.
Scott joined David Duval and Vijay Singh as those that won the week after ascending to the top spot in the world rankings.
More importantly for Scott, he became the first player EVER to complete the Texas slam. Along with this title, Scott has also won the Houston Open, the Byron Nelson Championship and the Texas Open titles.
Think about some of the great Texans that have played this game - Ben Hogan, Tom Kite, Lee Trevino and Ben Crenshaw among them - and none of those legends won all four stops in Texas.
Closing with back-to-back 66s helped, but Dufner hit on a different point.
"It's tough to concentrate, he's so good looking," Dufner joked after losing in the playoff.
Scott's life is coming into full balance as he turns 34 in July. He finally has a major championship title to his name, he sits atop the world rankings and if that weren't enough, he recently snuck off and got married.
Not much more the guy could ask for. More majors, I guess, and don't think that isn't on Scott's mind. Since winning at Augusta in 2013, Scott has two top-5 finishes and three top-15 finishes in the last four majors.
Clearly, Scott hasn't been resting on his laurels. It may be too soon to label him as the favorite for the U.S. Open at Pinehurst, but if he isn't the favorite, Scott is among clearly among the best bets to hoist that trophy.
With everything going right for Scott, it could take some time before he is knocked off the perch of being world No. 1.
MCILROY WINS AFTER TUMULTUOUS WEEK
With everything seemingly going Adam Scott's way, there was bound to be another star player battling to keep things together.
Former world No. 1 Rory McIlroy was coming off four straight top-10 finishes, and he has eight top-10s in 10 starts this season.
Off the course, things are very different. He had been engaged to tennis star Caroline Wozniacki, and a wedding date had been set.
However, as invitations for the big day were getting sent out, McIlroy got cold feet and called off the wedding.
McIlroy admitted that he was not ready for "all that marriage entails" in announcing the couple's split.
He was probably feeling as low, if not lower, than he had after blowing the 2011 Masters with a final-round 80.
That being said, McIlroy soldiered on. He was one of four players that posted four under-par rounds at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth. His closing 66 helped McIlroy erase a 7-shot deficit and earn a 1-stroke win.
It was his sixth European Tour title, and surprisingly, first on European soil.
McIlroy admitted he had a week of very mixed emotions, but also said the time between the ropes gave him serenity.
If McIlroy can get over a tough breakup that quickly, where will his game be come U.S. Open week?
- Colin Montgomerie finally won in the United States, and he finally won a major championship, albeit one on the Champions Tour. The win came in his 138th start in the U.S. and came as he fended off longtime foe Bernhard Langer, among others, to win the Senior PGA Championship.
- If the action at the Senior PGA or Colonial weren't good enough, the LPGA event had a 5-woman race to the finish. Four of the five will be among the future of the tour as 21-year-old Jessica Korda birdied six of the last nine holes to beat 26-year-old Anna Nordqvist, 24-year-old Michelle Wie, 18-year- old Charley Hull as well as 44-year-old Catriona Matthew. Those first four will battle in many Solheim Cups for years to come and will fight for many LPGA titles in the coming years.