Adam Scott – file photo Henry Peters
Both Adam Scott and Jason Day have finished off their competitive preparations for this coming week’s Masters with strong finishes to the Vivint Houston Open at the Memorial Park Golf Course in Houston Texas.
Day’s final round of 71 was disappointing overall, but he will be heartened as he looks ahead to Augusta National by a strong finishing burst in which he birdied three of his last six holes after dropping fours shots in his first 12 holes.
Day had entered the final round one behind the leader, Carlos Ortiz. A three-putt bogey from 15 feet on Saturday evening spoiled some of the momentum he might otherwise have carried into the final day and his shaky start today did not help matters.
He would, though, finish strongly to share 7th place and, importantly, he remains pain free as he plays the final major of the year with his recent injuries now seemingly manageable as he adjusts to swing alterations designed to accommodate his ongoing battle with back issues.
“I’ve got to look at it this way,” said Day earlier in the week. “I’ve just got to be very smart about certain shots that I want to try and hit because if I do it over and over again, sooner or later something goes wrong and that’s why you see a little bit of inconsistency there.
“I’ve just got to be patient with it and just try to work through it and hopefully I’ll get to where I want to see it, how I see it and how I want to hit it and the consistency will come back in the game.”
Jason Day – in action this week. Getty Images
Scott recovered from a third round of 74 with a final 68 spoiled only by a double bogey at the 12th and finding water, but saving par at the par 5 16th.
Scott tied for 32nd but there was enough to like about his form in just his first event back following a six-week break after contracting Covid 19 to consider him some hope at the Masters.
Greg Chalmers finished 50th, Matt Jones 63rd and Cameron Davis 68th after he had made a good start to the event on Thursday.
The tournament was won by the highly talented 29-year-old Mexican, Carlos Ortiz, who secured his first PGA Tour title although he had won three titles on the then Web.Com Tour. He won by two shots over Dustin Johnson and Hideki Matsuyama.
“I learned a lot,” he said referring to his time in the minor leagues. “It looked really easy that first year for me on the Web.com. Winning three times, looked like winning was easy and as I learned, winning’s not easy, you have to put in a lot of hard work and I think I’ve matured tremendously during those six years.
“I’m doing a lot of work mentally. My game I feel is pretty solid, but mentally I still I have a long ways to go and I think I’m taking some good steps in the right direction.”
Ortiz will improve from his current 160th in the world ranking to just outside the top 60.