Scott teeing it up for first time since Masters win

By Randall MellMay 8, 2013, 5:33 pm

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Adam Scott feels like he’s floating even when he isn’t wearing his green jacket around the house these days.

It’s a wonderful image Scott chose Wednesday to describe what it has been like in the month since he broke through to win his first major championship at the Masters. Given the weight of expectations he was saddled with as a prodigy, and the weight of failure in his collapse at the British Open last summer, Scott’s sense that he is floating delightfully captures what his life is like now.

Scott returns to play this week at The Players Championship knowing the challenge this sense of floating presents.

“Hopefully, I can take my head out of the clouds and come back down to earth and play some good golf,” Scott said before heading out to practice Wednesday morning.

Scott usually takes off four or five days after a major to decompress without touching his clubs. He said he took a week more than that after winning the Masters.

“It's been an overwhelming time for me,” Scott said. “Just so many people reached out to me, I was blown away. That comes from everywhere, especially Australia, but over here as well, other players, media, everyone. It was incredible.”

Scott was asked if he wakes up in the morning realizing he really is the Masters champ and it wasn’t all a dream.

“When I walk in the closet, and I put the green jacket on every morning, I do,” Scott said.

He wasn’t kidding. He likes wearing that green jacket.

“I've enjoyed that,” Scott said. “I've missed it the last couple days. It's the first couple days I haven't had it with me, so that's been a lot of fun, just wearing it around the house.”

Or floating around the house.

At 32, Scott could float the rest of his career if he wanted. Really, if he never wins another major, he won’t be remembered as a one-shot wonder. He’ll always be the first Australian to win the Masters. The feat will loom over the rest of his career. He is Aussie golf’s Neil Armstrong. He’ll be walking where no Aussie golfer ever walked before when he checks into the Augusta National Champions Locker room next year.

Here’s the thing, though, Scott wants so much more.

“It’s probably going to be the pinnacle of my career, because, also, of the whole of Australia, as the first Australian to win the Masters, but it's also not the end for me,” Scott said. “Hopefully, it's the start of me achieving my goals and trying to become the player that I've always dreamed of being.”

That’s why Scott did not come back earlier to play a PGA Tour event after winning the Masters. He wanted to feel like he was really ready to play. It’s also why he hasn’t yet returned to Australia since winning. He wants to build on this Masters title before celebrating back home.

“It’s cause for celebration, but we have a plan in place, and like I said, it's hopefully not going to stop with the Masters at the moment,” Scott said. “I want to keep focused while I can and try to make this my biggest year yet, and I think we can rustle up some celebration when I get home at the end of the year.”

Greg Norman, the most famous Aussie golfer, believes Scott is destined to surpass what he or any other Australian has achieved in the game.

“I think he will go on and win more majors than any other Australian golfer,” Norman said.

That’s a daunting task. Aussie Peter Thomson won five of them.

“Greg's had a huge belief in me,” Scott said. “Again, saying things like that, he strongly believes in my ability and he's always pushed me to achieve.”

Scott’s victory resonated beyond Australia.

“It was a great win for golf,” said Davis Love III.

Love knows how Scott’s popularity goes beyond Australia and even the game. The fact that the TV show “The Bachelor” wanted Scott after his Masters victory did not surprise Love. By the way, Scott turned down the show’s approach, saying he is in a committed relationship. He’s dating Marie Kozjar, a Swedish architect.

Love learned the strength of Scott’s mainstream appeal when he was hitting balls on a range at an event not so long ago. Love caught a glimpse of his daughter and two other girls on a golf cart racing toward him. He assumed they were coming out to watch him hit balls.

“My daughter doesn’t play golf,” Love said. “Guess who was hitting balls right beside me? Adam Scott.”

Scott is sure to have a growing following with his return to play this week. He is enjoying his new status, but he wants to keep building on his game this year. Whether, as Norman predicts, he can surpass Thomson’s five majors isn’t so much on his mind, but he does want more majors.

“I should set my goals high, like I always have,” Scott said. “If I can find the balance of using this as a motivator, and take the confidence out of what I was able to do at Augusta, then hopefully the floodgates can open. It happened a little bit for Phil Mickelson. Well, a lot for him, when he finally won his first major. He won four. So, if I keep focused, I think I believe I've got more in me. How many, I don't know. But I think if I keep doing the same things, I'll give myself a chance to win them.”

A chance to float even higher.

Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

Getty Images

Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

Getty Images

Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.