The British Open Win…That Wasn’t
Assistant Director, Internal Affairs
Adam Scott’s impressive choke at the British Open is unlike anything the golfing world has seen in recent years. Rory McIlroy’s explosion on Augusta’s seventh hole in 2011 is perhaps the only recent disaster that can hold a candle to Scott’s misery at Royal Lytham & St. Annes.
In an unusual British Open devoid of the troubling gorse shrubs, torrential rain and driving gales, Adam Scott finally found his groove. Once touted in the original collection of “Tiger Killers,” alongside Anthony Kim and Camillo Villegas, the Australian underwent quite a few years of poor golf sparked by a surfing injury and an emotional breakup. Now 32, Scott looked to go wire-to-wire and place his name on the famed Claret Jug. The last round, specifically the last four holes, disagreed with his fate. An immaculate performance full of excellent ball striking evaporated in just under 1700 yards. Many speculated that a final round of par or better would cement it for the man who at one time led by a seemingly insurmountable six strokes.
But golf is a fickle sport.
After Ernie Els made the best of charging up the leader board during the third round, affectionately called “moving day” by avid tournament players, he put himself in striking distance of the lead. Finishing seven under par, quite removed from the one time lead of 12 under posted by Adam Scott, Els looked on as Scott buried his ball into a fairway bunker off the tee on 18 and continue to miss a putt to seal his collapse.
Scott had never slept on the lead going into the final round of a Major championship, and perhaps his inexperience was showing during his four bogey stretch to close the final round. The weather at the Open to some was as surprising as Scott’s near-perfect golf. Those who wished for heavy winds were not disappointed on the fourth day, when the final pairing was caught in some unforgiving cross winds in Lancashire.
The wind wreaked havoc with Scott’s three metal tee shot on the 18th hole, corralling it into a fairway bunker. However, the end had begun as far back as hole 15, where Scott’s broom-style putter abandoned him. The old adage “drive for show, putt for dough,” for Major Championships had never been truer as it was that day. However, as Open winner Ernie Els pointed out in his post match interview, Scott has many more years to compete at the top. Having three top-15 finishes at three Majors this year is also no easy feat, and it leaves the smiling Adelaide man with good momentum going into the PGA Championship at Kiawah’s Ocean Course this year.