Scott hopes worst behind him

By Doug FergusonFebruary 11, 2010, 6:16 pm
2007 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – A playful reminder for Adam Scott: The Pebble Beach National Pro-Am is not match play.

Of the players who have returned to Pebble Beach because the U.S. Open is coming in June, no one has stayed away longer than Scott. The last time he played was in 1999, when he lost in the first round of the U.S. Amateur.

It seemed like he was never away.

“I’ve been watching this golf course on television a lot, just because of what it is,” Scott said. “The holes are memorable. You know what’s happened out there. Spectacular holes along the ocean. That says a lot about the golf course if you remember the holes.”

Scott didn’t bother trying to qualify for the 2000 U.S. Open because he made his pro debut the following week. The Australian was 19 when he played the European Grand Prix in England, tying for 61st.

What followed were 10 good years, all filled with victories, including The Players Championship and the Tour Championship. He climbed as high as No. 3 in the world in the summer of 2008.

And then came a disastrous year.

Scott missed six cuts in a row, and the more he tried to fix it, the worse it got. He took a break from longtime swing coach Butch Harmon and tried to go back to fundamentals. It appeared to be working when he tied for fourth against a strong field at Loch Lomond in the British Open. Then he drove down to Turnberry, and missed another cut.

Adam Scott
Adam Scott looks to improve on an arduous 2009 season (Getty Images)
Scott plunged to No. 108 on the money list last year, mainly because he tied for second in Honolulu the second week of the season. At least the year ended on a positive note. He won the Australian Open by five shots, his first pro victory on native soil.

And while he missed the cut at Riviera last week, Scott’s optimism is running high.

“It’s the start of a new decade, and I’m kind of seeing it as a fresh start for me,” he said Wednesday. “I probably learned more in the last 12 months than I did in the first 10 years of being a professional. I feel like I might have wised up a bit. Struggling a little bit last year will certainly help me in the long run.”

Moments earlier, Sergio Garcia was wrapping up an interview with a local broadcaster when he went over to the table were Scott was sitting, leaned it and shared a few laughs.

It was a light moment, although they could have just as well been talking about their year.

Garcia had one to forget, too. The Spaniard, who turned 30 last month, was distracted by his break-up with Greg Norman’s daughter and failed to win a tournament anywhere in the world. Garcia, who last March had a chance to go to No. 1 in the world, is now at No. 15. Along with not winning, he injured his right wrist at the end of the year and went seven weeks without touching a club.

And just like Scott, it’s been a while since Garcia played Pebble Beach, too.

He tied for 46th in the 2000 U.S. Open, then played the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am with his sister as his amateur partner, and his father caddying for his sister. Garcia is back on the Monterey Peninsula because of the schedule – one week before the Match Play Championship, four weeks before the U.S. Open.

As for his outlook on the year?

“It’s hard to say,” Garcia said. “I’ve not been able to do much work this offseason. So these first couple of months for me is kind of like my offseason, trying to get back into it. I feel like I’m slowly getting better at it. I feel like I’m swinging the club better. I know what I’m doing. It feels good.

“So it’s just a matter of keeping hard at it, and hopefully get back to that level.”

Garcia is playing with actor Josh Duhamel at the Monterey Peninsula on Thursday, while Scott starts out at Spyglass Hill, out of the celebrity rotation.

Monterey Peninsula is new to the rotation this year and getting strong reviews, with some saying it’s every bit as good as Pebble Beach. That should help make the week more enjoyable, along with a field that has been reduced from 180 to 156 players.

The forecast is even decent, with most of the rain out of the way.

Scott and Garcia can only hope they’ll have a decent forecast for the rest of their season.

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Watch that time Tiger throttled Ames, 9 and 8

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 20, 2018, 4:54 pm

Nine and eight. Three words that live in golf lore. Just say them and any golf fan can tell you what they mean.

In the 2006 WGC-Match Play, Tiger Woods faced Stephen Ames in the opening round. Ames, when asked prior to the event about his chance of winning, infamously said, "Anything can happen, especially where he's hitting it."

What happened on Wednesday, Feb. 22 at La Coasta Resort & Spa, was the most lopsided result in tournament history: 9 and 8 Check out the highlights below:

After his win, Woods was asked if Ames' comment had motivated him. Woods replied, "9 and 8."

Woods eventually lost, 1 up, to Chad Campbell in the third round. He then won his next start at Doral and went on to finish the season with six consecutive Tour wins, including The Open and PGA. He also won his first start in 2007 to make it seven consecutive Tour titles.

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Schedule change, caddie change for Casey at Match Play

By Rex HoggardMarch 20, 2018, 4:12 pm

AUSTIN, Texas – Paul Casey originally planned to skip the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, opting for two weeks off before the Masters.

Those plans changed when he removed the Arnold Palmer Invitational from his schedule and returned home to England last week to attend the funeral of a family friend. That adjustment also prompted a caddie change this week, with Scott Vail stepping in for the Englishman’s normal caddie, John McLaren.

WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play: Full bracket | Tee times

WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play: Articles, photos and videos

“We looked at tickets and it just didn't make sense for Johnny to fly back. We try and base our schedule around playing the best golf possible, but also having quality family time,” Casey said on Tuesday at Austin Country Club. “For Johnny to break up a nice three-week break with his family, there was no point to ruining that.”

This isn’t the first time Casey, who won the Valspar Championship two weeks ago, has needed a replacement caddie. At last year’s Travelers Championship, McLaren took a similar break and was replaced on the bag by Shannon Wallace. Although it’s not uncommon for caddies to take a week off, McLaren does have one stipulation.

“The only rule we have is that if Johnny is not going to work, he picks my caddie. So he picked the caddie,” said Casey, who is 20-12-1 in 12 starts at the Match Play and has advanced to the championship match twice.

Westchester Country Club hosted the 2015 KPMG Women's PGA Championship. (Getty) Getty Images

Westchester selected to host 2021 U.S. Women's Am

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 20, 2018, 3:20 pm

The USGA announced Tuesday that Westchester Country Club in Rye, N.Y., has been selected to host the 2021 U.S. Women's Amateur. The tournament will be held Aug. 2-8, 2021.

The club's West Course first hosted the event in 1923, and it boasts a storied history of professional tournaments as well. The PGA Tour hosted the Westchester Classic, later known as the Buick Classic and eventually The Barclays, at Westchester from 1967-2007, including the first-ever FedExCup playoff event, won by Steve Stricker in 2007.

The course was also the site of the 2011 Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship, won by Fred Couples, and the 2015 KPMG Women's PGA Championship, won by Inbee Park.

"The USGA is thrilled to bring the U.S. Women's Amateur to Westchester Country Club for the second time," Stuart Francis, USGA championship committee chairman, said in a release. "One of the USGA's three oldest championships, the Women's Amateur consistently identifies the world's top female players, and we are confident Westchester will provide the ultimate test for the championship's 121st playing."

First held in 1895, the Women's Amateur is open to players with a USGA handicap index not exceeding 5.4. Sophia Schubert won last year's event at San Diego Country Club, while this year's tournament will be held at The Golf Club of Tennessee in Kingston Springs.

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Stock Watch: Park rises again, under the radar

By Ryan LavnerMarch 20, 2018, 12:48 pm

Each week on, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.


Rory (+10%): The massive drives, the fist pumps, the unmistakable strut – McIlroy finally found the spark that he needed to play confident, aggressive golf. Bring on Augusta and his shot at history.

Tiger (+7%): It was another forgettable end to a final round, but let’s not lose sight of the big picture: Five events into his comeback, Woods has now carded 10 consecutive rounds of par or better – all on tough tracks – and can be viewed as a legitimate threat at the Masters. Remarkable, really.

Inbee Park (+5%): Fighting injuries and questioning whether she should retire, the Queen ‘Bee routed a top field in just her second start back. Stud.

Bryson (+3%): When The Machine operates properly, he’s one of the best ball-strikers in the world. Yes, he’s still painfully slow, but there’s no denying his talent – his runner-up against a star-studded field should help him tremendously.

Laura Davies (+2%): Fifty-four years old and nursing an Achilles injury, she turned back the clock with one of the coolest performances of the young season, on any tour. She’s still got tons of game.


Henrik Stenson (-1%): Maybe he’s just destined to go winless at Bay Hill. In the past four years, he’s had three excellent chances to win there and came away empty-handed each time.

Rickie (-2%): Hanging near the lead, Fowler closed his third round bogey-double, then shot 74 in the final round to drop out of the top 10. Sigh.  

P-Reed (-3%): His whiny protest to a rules official about a free drop – “I guess my name needs to be Jordan Spieth” – got even juicier when the Ryder Cup partners were drawn in the same group at the Match Play. Get your popcorn ready.

Ted Potter Jr. (-5%): His impressive victory at Pebble Beach over DJ, Phil and J-Day is looking more and more like a fluke each week. He’s now missed four consecutive cuts.

Fan behavior (-7%): Another week, another player complaining about increasingly hostile spectators. The Tour has (frustratingly) remained quiet on the issue, but the tipping point will come when one of these dopes affects the outcome on the 72nd hole.