PINEHURST, N.C. – The numbers seem like a misprint.
Adam Scott at the Masters: a win; a runner-up; eight top-25s; two missed cuts in 13 starts.
At the Open Championship: a runner-up; a third; five top-25s; four missed cuts in 14 starts.
At the PGA: a third; eight top-25s; three missed cuts in 13 starts.
But Adam Scott, the current world No. 1, at the year’s second major? Oh, it’s downright ugly: just a pair of top-25s in 12 career starts, with six MC’s.
For a player who currently ranks inside the top 5 in both total driving and ball-striking, the numbers don’t quite compute.
“Maybe it’s coincidence that I haven’t had my best stuff at a U.S. Open,” he said Wednesday at Pinehurst. “But I certainly feel like where my game is at now, and the past few years, I should be able to compete here.
“I’m trying to build a game that can play anywhere. So it’s a good week for me to kind of turn the corner and get in contention. I think this course sets up well for me.”
With the bare edges, generous fairways, sandy areas and sloping greens, the restored No. 2 reminds Scott of the Sunbelt courses in Australia, in particular the magnificent Royal Melbourne, where Scott won the 2013 Australian Masters. The greatest similarity is the creativity and imagination required around the greens – knowing where to miss, the myriad options from the closely mown areas.
“It’s got a lovely feel to it,” he said. “All the courses seem to have this somewhat rustic look at it through the pine trees, and aesthetically it’s a very pleasing way to walk around and spend the day on a golf course.”