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Adam Scott: Twice a Master in 2013

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Adam Scott has won his second Masters of 2013. The golfer defended his Australian Masters title Sunday at Royal Melbourne, besting a charging-then-faltering Matt Kuchar by two strokes. Scott’s even-par 71 secured his second victory in as many weeks and his second “Masters” victory of the year, to go along with his win at Augusta in early April.

The win continues the Australian golfer’s triumphant homecoming and further cements him as one of the very best players in the game. As of last week’s Official World Golf Ranking, Scott sits in second place behind world No. 1 Tiger Woods in the much decried metric of golfing success over a two-year “rolling” period.

Speaking of rolling, since Scott poured in a 12-footer for birdie on the second playoff hole at the Masters in April he’s been consistently very good. The golfer won The Barclays at Liberty National and last week’s Australian PGA, and he made the cut in every tournament he started on the PGA Tour this season, in addition to finishing inside the top 10 six times.

Outpacing Matt Kuchar at Royal Melbourne — especially after a double bogey at No. 14 — was yet another indication of the 33-year-old Australian’s mettle. The win provides yet another illustration of how far removed we are from the discussions about whether Scott has the fiber to win a major. The same too with discussions as to whether the meltdown at Royal Lytham in 2012 would be the closest the golfer would ever get to hoisting major hardware.

Indeed, after beginning the final round of the Australian Masters with a four stroke lead, Scott began to crumble, calling to mind his fumbling back nine at the Open Championship two years ago. However, Scott is a different golfer now, and he was able to right the ship at Royal Melbourne, however, buoyed by a key birdie at No. 15

“I made a lot of errors, but I managed to hang on despite being a little shaky out there,” Scott said after the round.

He was shaky, to be sure, but not shaken by adversity as he was two years ago. And while Adam Scott’s second Masters victory of 2013 may not be nearly as earthshaking at his first, it’s a clear statement that he (along with Henrik Stenson who now has a pair of significant trophies of his own) is the premier player in the global game of golf entering 2014.

And perhaps more importantly, he now has a yellow jacket to complement his green one.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Ken

    Nov 17, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    The rest of us have no experience of playing Sunday afternoon at this level. Scott hung in there and did what he had to. He made mistakes, too. Kuchar had to ‘go for it’ and that leads to risk. I’m a Kuchar fan, but this stuff happens every week. Congrats to Adam Scott.

  2. Kuchar Chokes!

    Nov 17, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    Kuchar gave it away… Wonder what the strength of the field is in these Aussie events… Pretty poor?

    • Kuchar Chokes! NOT!

      Nov 17, 2013 at 4:21 pm

      It would be better to acknowledge how Scott hung in this time with the stress of being home and winning last week – creating the thought of a possible Aussie triple crown with this win in everyones minds.

      • Rich

        Nov 17, 2013 at 5:20 pm

        Couldn’t agree more. Congrats to Adam Scott. He is a real champion and deserves all his success. As far as field strength is concerned, it’s worth noting that only one player has ever won the triple crown in Australia. Robert Allenby back in 2005. This includes all the years Greg Norman played the Aussie tournaments. There might not be top name players in all these events but don’t think for a second that the competition is light on. Cheers.

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19th Hole

Fans react to spectator running onto fairway and hitting shots at U.S. Open

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Sunday at Torrey Pines was a wild rollercoaster ride, and amongst the chaos came a bizarre moment when a fan decided that he would like to play some shots too.

Appearing to be carrying his own clubs, the shirtless fan with a rainbow cape slipped under the ropes and made a dart for the fairway. Then with his golf club in hand, he dropped a ball from his pocket and played multiple shots before security took care of him.

Rich Beem caught the incident on camera, and his reaction of “Look at this idiot out here” perfectly sums up the madness of what was happening.

 

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However, some GolfWRXers reacted differently, with a couple even impressed by the caped crusader’s swing.

“He’s got a nice swing”, wrote one user, while another responded, “Great tempo, I must say”, with one even requesting a WITB: “Can we get a WITB for this guy??”

One of the strangest moments on a Sunday at the U.S. Open since the infamous Birdman of Alcatraz back in 2012.

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Gure Txapelduna! Jon Rahm Rodriguez claims 2021 U.S. Open title

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The amateur statistician in me is overwhelmed by the fact that NO ONE shot lower than 67 on any given day, and that either 2, 3, or 4 golfers shot that number each day. The linguist in me is thrilled that Spain and the Basque Country have their first US Open champion. The human being in me continues to marvel at how professional golfers can put themselves through the agony of major-championship competition, knowing that the outcome is likely to be gut-wrenching and heart-rending. Professional sport is a fierce cauldron of emotion and exertion and unexpected brilliance. How else to explain the finishes of Harris English (third) and Guido Migliozzi (fourth) at Torrey Pines? They weren’t the story, however. They never should have been there, save for what was already alluded to above.

Jon Rahm played a near-perfect round of golf. He opened with birdies at one and two, and he closed with birdies at 17 and 18. In between, he traded a birdie and bogey and added 12 pars. The brilliant Basque hit eight fairways, and a massive 14 greens in regulation. Only Edoardo Molinari and Rikuya Hoshino were better on the day with approach play, and that was by one more GIR each. It was what the Spaniard did with his flat stick, that made the difference. Rahm putted brilliantly, taking 28 putts on the day. You might expect 28 putts from someone who hit 10 greens in regulation figures, but not from someone who ranked so high. In contrast, the aforementioned Hoshino (31 putts) and Molinari (34) putted more in line with a high GIR tally. Most importantly, Rahm stayed out of trouble.

That could not be said for the mercurial Bryson DeChambeau. After nine holes on Sunday, the defending champion looked to be in prime position to hoist the winner’s medal for a second consecutive year. Two of the tri-leaders (Hughes 77 for T15 and Henley 76 for T13) had fallen off the pace, and the third (Oosthuizen) was plodding along near par. Then came the inward half, and a grotesque tally of two bogeys, a double and a quad for the Californian nee Texan. DeChambeau drove the ball horribly, finding just three of the 14 fairways on the day. His putting was five higher than the eventual winner, and he simply lost his hold on his game. That’s the US Open; it turns the winds and the tide instantly against the sailor.

If a professional golfer were given the option of contending or not in major events, with no guarantee of victory, each golfer would accept the challenges and the inevitable heartbreak. Three of four men’s major championships have been completed this year, and Lodewicus Theodorus Oosthuizen has finished T26, T2 and 2 in them. Known to the world as Louis, Mr. Oosthuizen has much satisfaction and much frustration on this Sunday evening. He outplayed everyone who mattered from tee to green in round four at Torrey Pines, but he couldn’t buy enough putts (four more than Rahm) to close the deal. Some will point to a wayward drive at the penultimate hole and say That’s the one that did it, but it’s always the body of work that paints the portrait. On this day, as last month at the PGA, and at the Masters in 2012, Louis Oosthuizen was in the hands of the fates until the very last moment, but his number simply did not come up.

That one hole might be the best way to sum up the tribulations of those who fell short. For DeChambeau, it was the double at 13, as it was for Morikawa. Rory’s double came one hole earlier, at the long 12th. Brooks didn’t have a double on the card, but his bogey at twelve forced him to go for broke. He performed admirably for a few holes, with birdies at 13 and 15, but the Open never lets you truly go for broke and get away with it, unless your name is Johnny Miller, and that happened once. And the aforementioned English had seven birdies on the day, but he also made bogey at three of his first four, and added a fourth later on. For Rahm, that one hole turned out to be the 4th. Unlike the others, he kept the hole in front of him and never bit off too much. Although he made bogey, he never threatened anything higher. And that is one way that, in hindsight, you win a U.S. Open.

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5 things we learned Saturday at the U.S. Open

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The U.S. Open reminds me at times of this monologue from Maurice Moss at the infamous The IT Crowd soccer match

Sure, Roy says a few things, but it’s really Moss who carries the scene. Some people get/like U.S. Open golf, and some do not. There’s usually little movement on the leaderboard unless someone makes a passel of bogeys and doubles. For the third consecutive round at Torrey Pines, 67 earned low daily honors. That’s just four strokes below par, so the birdie fanatics had little to cheer (like Moss.) In fact, sometimes, it’s hard to determine just who is winning, and who isn’t.

Well, that’s not exactly true. We know that this year’s Cinderella, Richard Bland, isn’t winning. Blandy ran out of gas on the back nine, making five bogies for 41 and 77 and tied for 21st. With that written, plenty of stories remain, and we’ve tracked down five five that you’ll agree are worthy of a spot in Five Things We Learned on day three of the US Open.

1. Spuds Mackenzie has a share of the lead

At least in Ontario, Poutine is a popular treat when you have the munchies. That’s our spuds reference, although Canada’s Mackenzie Hughes does share the grit of the bull terrier that hawked Budweiser back in the day. Hughes’ long game afforded him plenty of opportunities to chip away at par, and he made the most of them. His two hiccups came on the outward half, at the fourth and ninth holes. Approach shots went astray, and his chipping game failed to get him close enough for par saves. On the inward half, Hughes was brilliant. Two birdies and an eagle earned him a 32 and a minus-five total after three rounds. As he finished earliest at that number, Hughes was assured of a spot in Sunday’s final twosome, no matter what the chasers did.

2. Louis, Louis

No, not the song. This makes twice that the 2010 Open winner and champion golfer of the year has challenged into the final round of a 2021 major. The PGA didn’t end so well for him, if we’re talking victories. Let’s remember that, if not for Bubba’s wedge silliness, Oosthuizen might have a green jacket to wear while drinking from his claret jug. As things stand, Oosthuizen’s minus-five total has him even with Hughes and paired in the final twosome. Things will be different from his last-group match last month with Phil Mickelson. Let’s say that Hughes won’t have the fanatical following that Oosthuizen’s last partner had. Oh, did we mention how Louis finished off the day?

3. Rory and Bryson

No, they won’t play together. Rory gets Russell Henley in penultimate pairing, while Bryson tees it up with Scottie Schefler in the third-last pairing. Rory and Bryson do represent opposite sides of a conundrum: chase distance or don’t? Rory has been open about the toll that chasing yards put on his game, and he has spent the past year rediscovering much of his game that was lost. Torrey represents his first true chance to determine the worth of his quest. In contrast, Bryson is unabashed in his pursuit of distance, and has demonstrated that his method can have positive results. Rory reached minus-three on the strength of a four-under 67 on Saturday. He managed the front in one-under, then came alive on the inward half to match Paul Casey for day’s low round. Bryson had no bogies on his card on Saturday, and has an enviable, downward trend (73-69-68) in his scoring. I’ll say this: if he goes lower than 68 on Sunday, he keeps the trophy.

4. Rahm, DJ, and the Wolff

Jon Rahm got hosed by the 14th hole today. Sort of. He played carefully out of fairway sand, clanked the flag stick with his recovery, then got too aggressive with his par try. Other than that, he has more momentum going into Sunday. I say, forget caution; chase birdies. On egin!

Dustin Johnson is in a similar position. Come to think of it, so is Matthew Wolff. They are all within 4 shots of the lead, and there is no suggestion that any of the minus-5 guys will go any lower than 2 under on Sunday, to reach 7 under. Thus, what do these lads chase? Do they go for 66 and hope that it will be enough? I think so. It’s lower than any other round this week, but by one slim stroke. I’m hoping that the USGA will give us enough tempting hole locations to reward brave play. That would be a nice send-off for Mike Davis in his final U.S. Open as executive director and CEO.

5. Who do we like?

No one mentioned just yet. He first qualified for the U.S. Open in 2016, and one year later, earned low amateur honors. Slowly but surely, he has worked his way into contention in major events, tying for 4th and 8th in the last two PGA Championships. He has yet to win on the PGA Tour, but I say that he makes the 2021 U.S. Open his first tour win and his first major title. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Scottie Schefler, your 2021 Gorham Company trophy winner.

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