Scott still privately treasures green jacket

By Jason SobelFebruary 18, 2014, 8:33 pm

Phil Mickelson can’t walk down a busy street without onlookers gawking in his direction. Same goes for Rory McIlroy, especially in certain areas of the world. Tiger Woods? Hell, he doesn’t even walk down busy streets anymore.

There is little doubt that Adam Scott, golf’s No. 2-ranked player and the reigning Masters champion, exists in the same talent classification as these peers. There is doubt, though, that many passersby would recognize him in public, hat pulled low, with maybe a surfing t-shirt, board shorts and flip flops to accent the just-another-dude attire.

Which is exactly how he likes it, of course.

On the heels of previous Masters winner Bubba Watson rocking the green jacket seemingly everywhere – during television interviews, in at-home photos with his son, while driving the General Lee – Scott offered a more, shall we say, understated approach to golf’s most coveted piece of clothing.

“Seeing people's reactions to seeing the green jacket in your house has been a lot of fun for me,” admitted the Aussie, who estimates that by the time he returns it to Augusta, he will have tried it on 365 times in front of the mirror.

Photos: Adam Scott through the years

The past year could have provided a cruel quandary in Scott’s isolated world. He is fiercely private with his personal life, living in such golf peripheries as Switzerland and the Bahamas. He doesn’t crave the spotlight, either, the rare elite pro who barely minds when his caddie steals the headlines, as happened with Steve Williams after their first victory together.

Winning the Masters, though – especially becoming the first Australian winner – is counterproductive to that lifestyle. Winning the Masters means mugging for the cameras; it means shaking hands and kissing babies; it means myriad daily intrusions to a low-key lifestyle.

If all of this has bothered Scott, he isn’t letting on.

“It's only been really compliments and praise from anyone, any of the extra attention I've got for winning, which has been welcome, I must say,” he said during a Tuesday teleconference in advance of the year’s first major. “It's nice to hear nice things, that's for sure.”

That doesn’t mean Scott hasn’t taken specific measures to curtail some attention. In the days following his playoff win over Angel Cabrera, he gave exactly two interviews – one for a U.S. television network, the other for an Australian channel. He cut back on an already-limited schedule, even this year competing in only two events during the first two months on the calendar.

And thanks to his own self-governances, being Masters champion never took a toll on his privacy.

“Certainly attention at tournaments and things like that has increased, but that's to be expected,” he explained. “That goes with the job. Really there's been no burden on me outside of that, just managing my time at the events has been an adjustment. But other than that, it's been very smooth sailing.

“To have that green jacket hanging in the closet is worth any bit of extra stuff you might have to deal with in your professional world.”

If he sounds like a player hungry to retain this success come April and beyond, that’s for good reason. A half-decade ago, Scott once answered a question as to what would be written in his lifelong memoirs someday by saying, “Wanna-be surfer. … It’ll mention golf, absolutely. But I hope there’s more to my life than just golf.”

Not that his priorities have changed and he wishes to be all-golfer, all the time, but Scott now seems more focused on pursuing stardom in his chosen profession rather than catching a wave when he’s off the course.

This focus has led to a thought process which leaves him craving more opportunities rather than celebrating those he’s already achieved.

“As a competitor and someone who likes to win and desires to win and works hard to try and win tournaments, the feeling and sense of accomplishment doesn't last very long,” he said. “It basically goes through that night and you wake up the next day and that event's over and everyone's moving on.

“You can kind of bask in the glory yourself for a little bit, but as soon as you're back out to play again, everyone's moved on and there's a new trophy to play for.  That's not undermining the sense of achievement of winning the Masters and the history of the event or any other major championship or any other tournament, but it's just kind of how it works, because 150 other guys didn't win and they are moving onto try and win the next week.

“You can't rest on your laurels.”

That’s the attitude that netted him one Masters title, and it very well might be the attitude which lands him more major championships in the very near future.

He’s still a private person, still the same guy who would rather check himself wearing the green jacket in his own home rather than posting it to Instagram for the whole world to see.

That doesn’t mean he’s any less proud. It also doesn’t mean the next time one of the game’s elite golfers walks down a busy street, draped in clothes far from anything bestowed upon him in Butler Cabin, he’ll be any more recognizable to those around him.

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Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

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Rahm (62) fires career low round

By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

"Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

"That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.


A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.