Scott looks to get back on track at Congressional

By Associated PressJune 27, 2013, 12:10 am

BETHESDA, Md. – The one thing that keeps Adam Scott from getting overly frustrated with his recent play is a green jacket in his closet.

That win at the Masters will make this a memorable year no matter what happens the rest of the way. Scott made it clear Wednesday, however, that he isn't satisfied with one major championship, and he's certainly not satisfied with how he has been playing.

He was three shots out of the lead at The Players Championship going into the weekend until a 75-71 finish. He was on the periphery of contention at the Memorial until a 73 on the last day. He started beautifully in the U.S. Open until a bad finish to his rain-delayed first round, and it didn't get much better the rest of week at Merion.

That's what made last week in the Bahamas so important.


AT&T National: Articles, videos and photos


''I really felt like last week the focus went back on when I was on the range at home, and it was really productive again,'' Scott said. ''And it felt like it did before winning the Masters. I think, somewhat understandably, you can get lost a little bit – not lost, but you can just float along. I was playing OK, but it just wasn't quite the same as beforehand. And now there's a purpose again, for sure.''

Scott highlights the field at Congressional when the AT&T National, a tournament that already has lost host Tiger Woods because of an elbow injury and Justin Rose because he was wiped out from winning the U.S. Open and then playing the following week.

Congressional is as pure a test as the PGA Tour offers, not surprising because it has hosted four majors, including the 2011 U.S. Open that Rory McIlroy won with a record score in soft conditions. Scott won on this course nearly a decade ago, and it's what brings him back – that and a chance to get his game pointed in the right direction with the British Open a month away.

''I've certainly enjoyed being the Masters champion for the past couple of months,'' Scott said. ''I haven't been too harsh on myself for my performances in the last three events since the Masters. Like I said, I got home after the U.S. Open and I was disappointed. Because after starting so great Thursday, I really just squandered away into the back of the pack. And that was the first time I'd done that in a major in a long time.

''So when I got back on the range that that, the focus came back, and the purpose came back to my practice.''

This will be his final event before the next major, and it figures to be quite a test.

Woods won a year ago in a wild week that featured extreme heat, a bizarre storm that toppled trees across the golf course and kept fans from attending on Saturday, and a late surge to get past Bo Van Pelt for a two-shot win at 8-under 276.

Only five other tournaments had a higher winning score last year, a list that includes the Masters and U.S. Open.

''Congressional can stand on its own two feet,'' Van Pelt said. ''If you'd have played here two weeks ago, you probably could have had a U.S. Open if you wanted to. You know that coming in, and guys either like that and want to come play here, or they take this week off.''

Woods is not taking this week off by choice. He hurt his left elbow a month ago, and doctors have advised rest and treatment to allow it to heal before the next two majors. Even so, the world's No. 1 player didn't want to miss out on defending his title on a course that has shown to identify some stout players.

''It's frustrating for me because I want to play, and I know how the golf course is set up right now, too, and I like the setup of it,'' Woods said. ''The years that it's set up this way, I've done well.''

It's the kind of test that Jason Day did not want to miss. Day has only one PGA Tour win, though the Australian has been thriving on tough courses in recent years. He finished two shots back at the Masters twice in the last three years, and he was two shots behind Rose at Merion. Day also was runner-up to McIlroy in the 2011 U.S. Open at Congressional, though he was eight shots behind.

''This course ... it kind of feels like a U.S. Open again,'' Day said. ''It's got some length to it, and the rough is pretty dense out there.''

Asked later if he preferred the harder courses, Day's eyes lit up and he said, ''Tough, yes.''

''Just takes out the riff-raff, I guess,'' he said.

It was a reference to games, not names. This is not a place where players can get by without their best stuff.

Scott won the now-defunct Booz Allen Classic the one year it was held at Congressional. Since the AT&T National began in 2007, the list of winners is K.J. Choi, Anthony Kim and Woods the last two times.

Scott said Congressional was the primary reason he put the AT&T on his limited schedule. Now he hopes to see something good come out of the week.

''This is the time of the year where I play, and I need to be ready and play myself into form,'' Scottsaid. ''Especially after the U.S. Open, I feel a result is needed, just some kind of result to keep the confidence high and move over to Europe feeling like I'm ready to compete. I want to contend. It's been since the Masters that I've really been in contention. So getting those feelings would be nice again.''

Getty Images

After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 2:19 am

Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...

Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).

Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.

It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard


On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...

There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.

He sure looks like the real deal, though.  

His title defense in Abu Dhabi – on the strength of a back-nine 30 in windy conditions – was his third title in the past 12 months and 11th top-10 overall. A few of those have come in majors and World Golf Championship events, too, which led the reigning Race to Dubai champion to accept PGA Tour membership for this season.

Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner

Getty Images

Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:25 am

With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.

He picked up one more No. 2, too.

The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.

In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.

Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.

“It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”

Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.

Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.

He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.

Getty Images

Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 1:05 am

Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.

Fresh off leading the New England Patriots to a AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady was asked about winning the game despite a cut on his throwing hand - which made national news heading into the matchup.

His response invoked the name of a certain 14-time major winner, something that would be tough to pull off, if not for the fact that he is, you know, Tom Brady.

“I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that," the 40-year-old told reporters after the game. "It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament."

Tiger Woods winning with his "C game" may be a distant memory for golf fans, but no matter what game he brings, his next chance to win comes next week at Torrey Pines during his official comeback to the PGA Tour.

Brady has a shot at his sixth Super Bowl title in two weeks. The Patriots would probably benefit from him bringing a little better than his "C game" as well.

Getty Images

Rahm beats Landry in playoff to win CareerBuilder

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:00 am

Jon Rahm birdied the fourth extra hole Sunday to defeat Andrew Landry in a playoff, win the CareerBuilder Challenge and move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here’s how things played out in overtime at PGA West:

Leaderboard: Rahm (-22), Landry (-22), John Huh (-20), Adam Hadwin (-20), Martin Piller (-20), Kevin Chappell (-19), Scott Piercy (-19)

What it means: This is Rahm’s second PGA Tour win and his fourth worldwide victory in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. Rahm took the early lead Thursday with an opening 62 and after rounds of 67-70, he started the final round two back. On Sunday, he made five birdies without dropping a single shot on the intimidating Stadium Course. In the clubhouse at 22 under, Rahm watched as Landry made birdie on 18 to force a playoff.

Rahm missed birdie putts that would have ended the tournament on the final hole of regulation and on each playoff hole. Finally, on his fourth trip down 18 of the day, his birdie bid found the cup. With the victory, Rahm passes Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, trailing only Dustin Johnson. He enters next week at Torrey Pines looking to defend for the first time.

Best of the rest: A two-time Web.com winner playing his second full season on the PGA Tour, Landry shot 68 Sunday, making birdie on the 72nd hole to force extras. Once Rahm finally made birdie on the fourth playoff hole, Landry's putt to extend slid by on the right edge. This is Landry's best career finish on the PGA Tour. Had he won, he would have secured full Tour status through the 2019-20 season and earned invites to the Masters, Players, and PGA Championships.

Round of the day: Sam Saunders fired an 8-under 64 to register this best finish of the season, a tie for eighth at 18 under. The reigning Web.com Tour Championship winner was 9 under par through 12 holes before making bogey at 13 and parring his way into the clubhouse.

Biggest disappointment: Overnight leader Austin Cook was eyeing his second win of the season but never contended. The RSM champion carded two double bogeys Sunday en route to a 3-over 75, dropping him from the 54-hole lead to a tie for 14th.

Shot of the day: Rahm's putt to win:

Quote of the day: "One of us had to do it and either one of us would have been a well-deserving champion." - Rahm on his playoff victory over Landry