Scott candidly reflects on British collapse

By Jason SobelAugust 1, 2012, 4:38 pm

AKRON, Ohio – When last we saw Adam Scott on this sprawling landscape that is Firestone Country Club, his expression proposed equal parts satisfaction and bemusement.

Satisfaction from an ability to defeat his fellow elite competitors and claim a World Golf Championship title, bemusement from the post-round scene that depicted cameras and reporters hovering around his caddie while Scott managed to quietly shy away from the spotlight.

Which is exactly how he likes it. The list of world-class players who could endure their looper calling it 'the greatest win of my career' without feeling one shred of resentment may be counted on one hand, and Scott serves as the thumb, selflessly hitching his ride into the background.

The reminiscence is relevant exactly one year later, where, ironically, Scott was thrust into the spotlight Wednesday more for what he didn’t win than what he did.

It’s been 10 days since Scott lost the Open Championship in dramatic, heartbreaking fashion, posting bogeys on each of the final four holes before walking off the 18th green in a daze, the latest casualty of major championship pressure – or major championship fate, if you prefer.

Video: Scott's news conference from WGC-Bridgestone

In the time since, he has practiced a little, relaxed in the Swiss Alps and fielded phone calls from everyone from Greg Norman to “some people I don't know how they got my number.” If it sounds like ordinary, daily business as usual, that’s because it is. If you expected him to react any differently, you shouldn’t have.

“I really just felt a bit shocked and almost numb of feeling about it. I certainly didn't beat myself up and have to curl up in a corner,” Scott said, speaking to reporters for the first time since his post-round news conference Sunday at the British. “The next few days were quiet, but they were just the same as after any other major.  I pretty much find myself on the couch for about 48 hours after a major.”

Some players would need 48 hours on a psychiatrist’s couch after being so close to winning the claret jug that the engraver could have been working on the “A” at the practice range. Not Scott. He maintained just minutes after the Royal Flush at Royal Lytham that he wouldn’t shed any tears over the loss and at least publicly he has kept that promise.

In fact, it appears everyone else – fellow players, fans, otherwise impartial observers – feels sorrier for Scott than he feels for himself. His inability to wallow in self-pity is not only commendable, it should serve as a case study for future heartachers enduring similar fallout from defeat.

Or anything else, for that matter. We should all own the indefatigable attitude and steely resolve of Scott, if for no other reason that it beats living life in a perpetual state of vulnerability.

“The reason I'm playing is to win some majors. That's what we're identified by at the end of our careers. How successful you were is how many majors you won,” said Scott, still pursuing his first. “Everyone has always said I'm a guy with potential to win majors or be a great player, but until you've got physical proof that you can do it, maybe you don't 100 percent believe it. And I think the way I look at it was that was the proof that I'm good enough to win major championships.

“Although I didn't finish like a champion [two weeks ago], I have in the past at other tournaments, so I know I've got that in me. It's just putting the pieces of the puzzle together, and I think that might have been the last piece for me.”

Too often major championship snafus are deemed as setbacks, golden opportunities which slip from the increasingly shaky hands of those trying to break through that seemingly impenetrable wall.

That notion couldn’t be further from the truth.

Ask Greg Norman. Ask Phil Mickelson. Hell, ask Jack Nicklaus, who came in second place more times than he won, those near-misses undoubtedly helping propel him to more victories later on.

You can even ask Ernie Els, who has dealt with his share of anguish at majors and was the beneficiary of Scott’s demise this time around.

“The pain is there, I know that,” Els said Wednesday. “But he's handling it unbelievably well, and I truly think that he now believes he can win multiple majors. He had an opportunity. It didn't quite happen his way.

“He's not the only one. And he's young enough where he can bounce back and win quite a few.”

In the aftermath of the Open, Scott has found a silver lining, seen a light at the end of the tunnel. Pick your favorite cliché of optimism and he is already living its definition.

You almost want him to pound his fist on the table. Yell. Cry. Blame someone else.

Instead, he’s handled losing with grace, class and a positive attitude that would make Tony Robbins blush.

“It was good to get back on the range and start hitting it,” he said. “I hit the first few balls, and I hit them nice like I was, and that was kind of a reminder like, it's not horrible and I don't know how to play golf anymore. It was just four holes that I'll have to learn from and be tougher on myself next time I'm in that position.”

Adam Scott doesn’t value the spotlight, doesn’t lust after it like so many other popular athletes. That doesn’t mean he can’t embrace it. It’s a testament to a man who doesn’t mind shying away from it when he wins and can still thrive in it when he loses.

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Cook leads by one entering final round at CareerBuilder

By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:51 am

LA QUINTA, Calif. – Austin Cook played a six-hole stretch in 6 under and shot an 8-under 64 in breezy conditions Saturday to take the lead at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

Cook began the run at La Quinta Country Club with birdies on Nos. 4-5, eagled the sixth and added birdies on No. 7 and 9 to make the turn in 6-under 30.

After a bogey on the 10th, he birdied Nos. 11, 12 and 15 and saved par on the 18th with a 20-footer to take a 19-under 197 total into the final round on PGA West's Stadium Course. The 26-year-old former Arkansas player is making his first start in the event. He won at Sea Island in November for his first PGA Tour title.

Fellow former Razorbacks star Andrew Landry and Martin Piller were a stroke back. Landry, the second-round leader, had a 70 on the Stadium Course. Piller, the husband of LPGA tour player Gerina Piller, shot a 67 at La Quinta. They are both winless on the PGA Tour.

Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

Jon Rahm had a 70 at the Stadium Course to reach 17 under. The top-ranked player in the field at No. 3, Rahm beat up the par 5s again, but had four bogeys – three on par 3s. He has played the 12 par 5s in 13 under with an eagle and 11 birdies.

Scott Piercy also was two strokes back after a 66 at the Stadium.

Adam Hadwin had a 67 at La Quinta a year after shooting a third-round 59 on the course. The Canadian was 16 under along with Grayson Murray and Brandon Harkins. Murray had a 67 on PGA West's Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course, and Harkins shot 68 on the Stadium Course.

Phil Mickelson missed the cut in his first tournament of the year for the second time in his career, shooting a 74 on the Stadium Course to finish at 4 under – four strokes from a Sunday tee time.

The 47-year-old Hall of Famer was playing for the first time since late October. He also missed the cut in the Phoenix Open in his 2009 opener.

Charlie Reiter, the Palm Desert High School senior playing on the first sponsor exemption the event has given to an amateur, also missed the cut. The Southern California recruit had three early straight double bogeys in a 77 on the Stadium that left him 1 over for the week.

John Daly had an 80 at La Quinta. He opened with a triple bogey and had six bogeys – four in a row to start his second nine – and only one birdie. The 51-year-old Daly opened with a 69 on the Nicklaus layout and had a 71 on Friday at the Stadium.

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Mickelson misses CareerBuilder cut for first time in 24 years

By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 am

Phil Mickelson missed the cut Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge. It’s a rare occurrence in his Hall of Fame career.

He has played the event 15 times, going back to when it was known as the Bob Hope Classic. He has won it twice.

How rare is his missing the cut there?

The last time he did so, there was no such thing as a DVD, Wi-Fi, iPods, Xbox, DVR capability or YouTube.

Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

The PGA Tour’s Jon Rahm didn’t exist, either.

The last time Mickelson missed a cut in this event was 1994, nine months before Rahm was born.

Mickelson struggled to a 2-over-par 74 in the heavy winds Saturday on the PGA West Stadium Course, missing the 54-hole cut by four shots. He hit just four of 14 fairways, just nine of 18 greens. He took a double bogey at the 15th after requiring two shots to escape the steep-walled bunker on the left side of the green.

Mickelson won’t have to wait long to try to get back in the hunt. He’s scheduled to play the Farmers Insurance Open next week at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif.

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Defending champ Gana co-leads Latin America Amateur

By Randall MellJanuary 20, 2018, 11:20 pm

Toto Gana moved into early position to try to win a return trip to the Masters Saturday by grabbing a share of the first-round lead at the Latin America Amateur Championship.

The defending champ posted a 3-under-par 68 at Prince of Wales Country Club in his native Chile, equaling the rounds of Argentina’s Mark Montenegro and Colombia’s Pablo Torres.

They are one shot ahead of Mexico’s Alvaro Ortiz and Mario Carmona, Argentina’s Horacio Carbonetti and Jaime Lopez Rivarola and the Dominican Republic’s Rhadames Pena.

It’s a bunched leaderboard, with 19 players within three shots of each at the top of the board in the 72-hole event.

“I think I have my game under control,” said Gana, 20, a freshman at Lynn University. “I hit the ball very well, and I also putted very well. So, I am confident about tomorrow.”

The LAAC’s champion will get more than a Masters invitation. He also will be exempt into the The Amateur, the U.S. Amateur and any other USGA event he is eligible to play this year. The champion and players who finish runner-up are also exempt into the final stages of qualifying for The Open and the U.S. Open.

The LAAC was founded by the Masters, the R&A and the USGA, with the purpose of further developing amateur golf in South America, Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean.

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LAAC returning to Casa de Campo in 2019

By Randall MellJanuary 20, 2018, 8:23 pm

The Latin America Amateur Championship will return to Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic in 2019 (Jan. 17-20), event organizers announced Saturday in Chile, where this year’s championship is underway.

The LAAC champion receives an invitation to play the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club every spring.

The champion is also exempt into The Amateur, the U.S. Amateur and any other USGA event for which he is eligible to compete. The champion and players who finish runner-up are also exempt into the final stages of qualifying for The Open and the U.S. Open.

The LAAC was founded by the Masters, the R&A and the USGA, with the purpose of further developing amateur golf in South America, Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean.

The championship got its start in 2015 with Chile’s Matias Dominguez winning at Pilar Golf in Argentina. In 2016, Casa de Campo hosted, with Costa Rica’s Paul Chaplet winning. At 16, he became the first player from Central America to compete in the Masters. In 2017, Chile’s Toto Gana won the title at  Club de Golf de Panama.