Scott following his 2013 Australian PGA win
Australia’s leading ranked male golfer, Adam Scott, will play the Australian PGA Championship at RACV Royal Pines this week in pursuit of his first title anywhere in over three years.
Scott’s last victory came at the WGC Cadillac Championship in March of 2016 and while his world ranking has improved considerably in 2019, he would be prefer to be winning tournaments than improving his standing in the world ranking and this week’s Australian PGA Championship offers an opportunity to do just that.
“I mean, the rankings kind of only matter to get you in all the tournaments,” he said in his pre Australian PGA Championship media conference.
“You know, I’m not necessarily motivated to be the No. 1 player in the world as much as I’m motivated to win a major championship. I’ve been now ‑‑ all of it’s great, but a major championship can happen on a week and to get to No. 1 is a very long process.
“If you start getting up there, then maybe that motivation will come again, but to win some trophies and win some tournaments, certainly the majors, there are a few other specific tournaments around the world I would like to win that I haven’t won.
“But here this week, absolutely. I felt like whatever years were my best golf, a couple of these slipped away, one in a playoff here to win the PGA again. There was an Australian Open or two that I was close at. It would be nice while I’ve got a few decent years left in me to kind of wrap up a few more wins down here and leave as strong a legacy in the Australian game as well.”
“It’s frustrating because I feel there have been some weeks where I’ve had the chance and it hasn’t happened and it’s very hard to find where I put a foot wrong in those examples. Someone just played better and that’s annoying because it’s hard for me to control what they’re doing. It just means I’ve got to lift my game a little bit higher. It’s all right there.
“But I feel like I’ve been in a similar spot in my career to this before. If I remember, maybe 2012 I was playing at a very high level and I didn’t win all year. I ended up winning the Australian Masters at the end of the year, but I’m at that point where I just need to keep pushing myself along, keep the intensity at the right level because I’m doing the right things, it’s going the right way.
“A breakthrough win here this week can carry me a long way into next year with Augusta only a few months away now. So it’s important that I kind of get that win, and the confidence that those wins give you can take you a long way.”
Scott has been a regular visitor to RACV Royal Pines since the event moved to the Gold Coast layout in 2013, winning that year and finishing runner-up the following year when defeated by Greg Chalmers in a playoff. He has also missed the cut in the event, so he has mixed fortunes over the revamped Graham Marsh layout but today expressed his pleasure in the manner in which the golf course has matured since its redevelopment in 2015.
“Yeah, it’s looking good out there this morning, in very nice condition for us this week. I think now the greens have really settled in since the changes over the last five or six years. It was nice to see them receiving shots so well, but generally the course is in great shape.
“It’s a lot to play for this week. My goal is to kind of bring a similar kind of focus that I had going last week to the golf course and try and get my name on that trophy again.”
Scott and Cameron Smith arrived on the Gold Coast following a gut-wrenching for him defeat at the Presidents Cup last week at Royal Melbourne and he was still expressing disappointment today.
“I was sure waking up Sunday morning that was not going to be the result. I thought everything we had done all week was correct and there wasn’t anything unusual about what we had done for Sunday, so I’m surprised.
“I don’t know how every match went, but it just felt like we got off to a slow start in most matches. There wasn’t a lot of guys up early and that kind of cost us in the long run. The guys who were up seemed to tie.
“But, you know, it’s so disappointing because the guys had done an incredible job to get in that position we were in. I don’t think anyone would have given us a chance of getting a 10‑8 lead at the start of the week if you look at the teams on paper.
“But once that American train gets running, it’s strong. It’s got a lot of depth and if I’m rationalising it, maybe that’s where we came up a little bit short on Sunday. We just didn’t quite have the depth to match them. They just played to their potential on Sunday. I don’t know. I’m not sure exactly what we could have done different. When you lose, you can pick on anything, but I think we’re all a bit surprised that we couldn’t get it done.
“So on a positive note, you know, I think there was a lot of good come out of it for our team and how we should structure ourselves moving forward, so I’ll look forward to hopefully having another chance in a few years and try and get it over the line this time.”
While upset about the result last Sunday, Scott was fully appreciative of the support of the Australian crowds and how much of a thrill he got from the atmosphere the local crowds generated.
“As mentioned last night at the dinner that the PGA held, that last week the reception from the crowd in Melbourne for me personally ‑‑ our whole team felt it, but certainly personally for me was a week that I’ll never forget. It was fantastic.
“They played a big part in lifting our team and my performance last week. Holing a couple putts in front of them and having people go crazy was a lot of fun for me in my home country, so I’m so appreciative of that. I wished I could have done a little bit better on Sunday because it would have been really fun to win a match in front of everyone.”
If Scott was to win this week it would add to the Australian Open, Australian PGA Championship and two Australian Masters already to his name in terms of domestic titles.
A victory on Sunday would not only add to that legacy it might well provide the boost ahead of a 2020 season in which Scott converts consistency into titles.