Scott's alter ego

By Randall MellAugust 9, 2011, 7:42 pm

JOHNS CREEK, Ga. – Call him Adam Scott’s alter ego.

Steve Williams’ brusque and bold persona as a caddie is serving Scott well so far, even as those traits kick up controversy the soft-spoken Scott would prefer to avoid.

Though Scott has made it clear to Williams he wants his clubs to do the talking at the PGA Championship this week, he’s finding fuel in Williams’ bulldog persona

The dust-up Williams created taking a dig at his former boss, Tiger Woods, in the wake of Scott’s WGC-Bridgestone victory Sunday drifted with Scott to Atlanta Athletic Club on Tuesday.

“Look, we’ve had our chat about the whole thing, and he feels the way he feels,” Scott said. “I just took what he said, again, as confidence for me. If he really feels that was one of his great wins, then I’m kind of flattered, and it fills me with confidence. I think that’s what his intention is, to be honest.”

Scott, 31, is finding strength in the tough-guy temperaments of two supporters as he tries to win his first major championship.

Scott said his boyhood idol, Greg Norman, is another large factor in rebounding from his swoon in 2009, when he missed 10 of 19 PGA Tour cuts.

“Greg Norman in the last couple years has probably shown he has more belief in me than I’ve had in myself,” Scott said after his news conference Tuesday. “I like to think I’m a bulldog when I get in the hunt, but it’s about getting in the hunt more.

“Greg is a feisty guy, and it’s good for me to have guys like that around me.”

Scott says he’s by nature a shy fellow away from the golf course, but the Williams-Norman combo fills his world with lots of bravado.

Before Williams was fired by Woods, before Williams teamed with Scott to win at Bridgestone, the caddie confronted Scott in no-nonsense fashion. Williams bluntly told Scott that he believed he had underachieved in his career.

“Yeah, he did say that,” Scott said. “I guess I take that as a compliment, that he thinks I’ve got the ability to do better.

“He was very honest with me in his opinion of my game and everything, and he thinks I've got the game to win majors.”

Scott, an Aussie phenom predicted to a become star before he even hit the PGA Tour, has won eight PGA Tour titles and eight European Tour titles, but he was never a factor coming down the final stretch of a major championship until he tied for second at the Masters in April.

“Look, I mean, yeah, if I was being a harsh critic of myself, I could say I've underachieved,” Scott said. “I feel like, sometimes, I play as good as anyone, and it's never been at the biggest tournaments, and that's really what I tried to change this year, not just from what Steve had to say. I felt like my game had really taken some big steps last year. And now putting better, I feel like, OK, I need to be performing in majors, World Golf Championships, The Players, all the big events.  I feel that's where my game's at.”

With Scott struggling two years ago, Norman gave him a boost choosing him as a captain’s pick to play for the International Presidents Cup team. Scott said he was so frustrated that year he probably would have packed his clubs away and took the late fall and winter off if Norman hadn’t come calling. Scott played well for Norman and the Internationals and built on that success.

With the long putter in his bag this year, Scott took a giant step forward. The addition of Williams feels like another important piece.

“I think he's a great motivator for me so far,” Scott said. “Obviously, when you start fresh with a new caddie, any time, it's a good vibe and a good rapport. We are getting on really well, and you've got to ride that. But then the longer you stay with someone, it's important to keep that going. He's a very motivated guy. He's out here to win. He loves winning. I think that's good for me, to keep my motivation going. He can certainly push me. And so far, he's just brought a lot of confidence toward me in everything he says, and the way he acts.

“Filling me with confidence is a good thing. That's a good thing for a caddie to do to a player. So far, it's been fantastic.”

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McCoy earns medalist honors at Q-School

By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 am

One year after his budding career was derailed by a car accident, Lee McCoy got back on track by earning medalist honors at the final stage of Tour Q-School.

McCoy shot a final-round 65 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., to finish the 72-hole event at 28 under. That total left him two shots ahead of Sung-Jae Im and guaranteed him fully-exempt status on the developmental circuit in 2018.

It's an impressive turnaround for the former University of Georgia standout who finished fourth at the 2016 Valspar Championship as an amateur while playing alongside Jordan Spieth in the final round. But he broke his wrist in a car accident the day before second stage of Q-School last year, leaving him without status on any major tour to begin the year.

McCoy was not the only player who left Arizona smiling. Everyone in the top 10 and ties will be exempt through the first 12 events of the new Tour season, a group that includes former amateur standouts Curtis Luck (T-3), Sam Burns (T-10) and Maverick McNealy (T-10).

Players who finished outside the top 10 but inside the top 45 and ties earned exemptions into the first eight events of 2018. That group includes Cameron Champ (T-16), who led the field in driving at this year's U.S. Open as an amateur, and Wyndham Clark (T-23).

Everyone who advanced to the final stage of Q-School will have at least conditional Tour status in 2018. Among those who failed to secure guaranteed starts this week were Robby Shelton, Rico Hoey, Jordan Niebrugge, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Hall.

Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

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Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.



Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

"We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."

Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout

Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.