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Golf Australia Express : December 2013
T HERE’S an eerie symmetry between Adam Scott’s best and worst seasons on Tour that begins and ends on our very own fairways. In 2009, Scott was a ghost of the steely soldier we’ve this year witnessed become The Masters champion, the world No.2 and one of the most dependable performers on any tour. Four years ago, Scott failed to win once on the PGA Tour, trudging through a dismal season that included only one top 10 result and 10 missed cuts from his 19 tournaments. Only a tie for second at the Sony Open salvaged something from the wreck. That year he ranked outside the top 100 in almost every statistical category as his dreadful putting took hold of the rest of his game and rendered one of the most naturally gifted players on Tour an also-ran. But he did win the Australian Open that year. Under pressure, the Queenslander came home to NSW Golf Club in December, took a two- shot lead into the final round, saw off an early challenge from Stuart Appleby and went on to win by five strokes—his year from hell finishing with a shining light. In contrast, this year it appeared only Scott could beat Scott at times. Six top 10s, that Masters playoff, a win at The Barclays, only one result outside the top 50, a team victory with good mate Jason Day at the World Cup of Golf and a homeward romp that served up two Australian tour wins, made 2013 almost incomparably good. But he didn’t win the Australian Open. Despite cradling control of proceedings at Royal Sydney for most of the four days of his final Aussie fling, Scott was finally brought undone by Rory McIlroy, a man whose year-on-year comparison mirrored Scott’s in reverse. In any other year, Scott’s final- hole capitulation would have elicited groans of discontent from an Australian public desperate for a champion to hang their collective hat on. But the overarching sentiment this time around was something along the lines of: “well, you can’t win 'em all”. Instead, Scott and his swathes of adoring fans are already glancing ahead to the next chapter, and salivating at what it might hold. The next stop is the Tiger Woods world No.1 ranking, a mantle once an impossible dream but now tantalisingly plausible if Scott’s run of results extends into the new year. Words by Adrian Ballantyne the cover