NORTON, Mass. – When Adam Scott won the 2003 Deutsche Bank Championship, before the New England staple had shifted into the heart of the FedEx Cup Playoffs calendar, he was a 23-year-old phenom whose star potential was as handsome as his Hollywood smile.
He lapped the field by four strokes at TPC Boston in just his first full season on the PGA Tour and the media promptly fixed the cart before the horse, dubbing the Australian the next great thing and anointing him a bona fide star.
On Thursday, a decade removed from that benchmark beginning, Scott flashed that signature smile when asked to assess how different things now feel.
“I was only looking up at that point when I sat here winning on the Tour for the first time and just imagined it would all probably be a lot easier than it is,” Scott said. “That's youth and inexperience and being somewhat naïve, because at that point golf wasn't a challenge, at all. It was a lot of fun and it all came quite easily.
“I probably sat there and thought I'd win another three the next year and a couple of majors would just jump in the next couple of years. That's how you feel when you're confident and playing well.”
History will record that from that point until this May, Scott collected seven more Tour titles, dropped to 65th in the World Golf Ranking (October 2009) and had yet to win a major.
This, however, is a new and improved Scott.
He won his first major this April at the Masters, contended at the Open Championship (T-3) and PGA (T-5) and rallied on Sunday last week at the postseason opener to move into the hunt for the FedEx Cup.
“After winning last week I feel confident,” he said. “And I expect it to keep happening. But I think I have a better understanding of what I need to do to keep it happening now than 10 years ago.”