Scott eyes Tiger’s top spot at US Masters

Of the golfing men who would be king, Adam Scott leads the race. The absence of Tiger Woods from this US Masters presents an opportunity for Scott – as well as Henrik Stenson and Jason Day – to claim top spot in the world rankings. More than that, Scott, statistically the second best player in the game just now, could create a stir at Augusta this week by becoming only the fourth player to defend a Masters title successfully.

Still, Scott's first instinct is to bemoan a Masters minus you-know-who after back surgery. "It's a big loss for the tournament any time a world No.1 is not going to play," explained the Australian.

"It's a huge loss. But it's the nature of sports, guys get injured. It's going to be [tough] missing the top player in the game this week but, as every year here, this event produces something special no matter what.

"It just has a way of doing it. It's not going to involve Tiger this year, but it will involve someone else and it will be a memorable event anyway.

"I think in the past certainly it has been easy to go to events and look at a guy who is the one to beat. I think that scope has kind of broadened now. There's a lot of guys with the talent and the form who aren't necessarily standing out above others, but on their week, they are going to be tough to beat."


Motivation
Scott is open about the prospect of taking the injured Woods's ranking as one that excites him. "There's absolutely motivation for that," the world No.2 said. "But the motivation is just to play well. I feel like my game is at a point where, if I play well, I have got a chance to win this tournament. That's my goal this week. And the follow-on from that would be world No.1.

"I've had a couple of goes at that the last couple of times I've played and it hasn't worked out. If I can keep chipping away at it, whether I win or not this week and get to No.1, my goal is just to keep playing well.

"It's not that I don't tee up thinking I'm going to try to be world No 1. It just works out. You've just got to keep playing well. For the guys who have been world No.1, it has been a process to get there and that's where I'm at – at the moment. I'm getting close.

"I think over the last couple of years, I could definitely say I've been quietly confident coming to the majors. I've seen my form improve and the way I've played the majors gets better and better, and know if I execute the way I want, that I'd be a chance, and I've been a chance over the last few years."

One privilege afforded to Scott as defending champion was to play Augusta with his father, Phil, last weekend. "I think he now has an appreciation for how good some of the guys are out here, chipping and putting around these greens," Scott Jr said with a smile.

Inspired
Players from just two nations have recorded victories on the US PGA Tour this season; the United States and Australia. Scott appears bashful when it is put to him he has inspired a generation. The 33-year-old has clearly gleaned immense personal satisfaction from last year's achievement here.

"It has been incredible to see the reception I get every week I play since being a Masters champion," said Scott. "It has been a real buzz for me to be welcomed at all the golf courses I'm at. This week has been something I have been really looking forward to. But as the last week came around, I also realised it would be time for me to bring the green jacket back and leave it here maybe.

"So that motivated me to work harder that last week at home and try and get myself into some kind of form that can maybe go back to back and keep the jacket for another year.

"I think all the great things I've been looking forward to are going to happen this week and it's going to happen for another year and another year and another year.

"Going up in the champions' locker room has been a dream come true. It's a lot of fun to see the guys up there and see them hanging out around the tables. It is quite an incredible experience.

"I want to try to enjoy all that, but I also want to really get my head into playing well this week because I think I'm in good form." – © Guardian News & Media 2014

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

A Player in apartheid gets award

South Africa’s legendary golfer, who is said to have aided the past regime, is honoured by Trump

Covid-19 red cards major events

Sporting events, from football and tennis to rugby and cycling, on this year’s calendar are in doubt

Opel Corsa GSi: sounds to delight and annoy you

This is an agile little car, with the vroom-vroom factor. It’s fun to drive if you’re alone, but the two-door design is impractical if you have kids

Homeground advantage

With the Irish fans behind him and a consistent period of top play, Rory McIlroy is the favourite

Tiger wins 15th major title with spectacular Masters victory

Ending an 11-year major drought, the 43-year-old American superstar seized his first major title since the 2008 US Open

Europe hold off tense US fightback for emotional Ryder Cup triumph

Team Europe denied a dramatic United States fightback to complete an emotional 17.5-10.5 upset victory
Advertising

Subscribers only

Covid-19 surges in the Eastern Cape

With people queuing for services, no water, lax enforcement of mask rules and plenty of partying, the virus is flourishing once again, and a quarter of the growth is in the Eastern Cape

Ace prepares ANC branches for battle

ANC secretary general Ace Magashule is ignoring party policy on corruption-charged officials and taking his battle to branch level, where his ‘slate capture’ strategy is expected to leave Ramaphosa on the ropes

More top stories

Limpopo big-game farmer accused of constant harassment

A family’s struggle against alleged intimidation and failure to act by the authorities mirrors the daily challenges farm dwellers face

Did Botswana execute ‘poachers’ ?

The Botswana Defence Force’s anti-poaching unit has long been accused of a ‘shoot to kill’ policy. Over 20 years the unit has killed 30 Namibians and 22 Zimbabweans

Zondo tightens his grip with criminal complaint against Zuma

The state capture commission’s star witness now faces a criminal complaint and another summons

Sharp sting of the Green Scorpions

Crime busters secure a 97% conviction rate and register more criminal dockets for range of crimes
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…