PITTSFORD, N.Y. – His third round was beginning to spiral out of control, and so were his chances for a two-major season.
So Adam Scott, standing over a 15-foot par putt on the 17th hole at Oak Hill, simply told himself: “This is maybe your last shot at this tournament.”
And he buried it.
Now, after a 2-over 72 Saturday, the Masters winner will enter the final round of the 95th PGA Championship four shots behind leader Jim Furyk, but with only four players ahead of him – only one of whom has won a major.
“I don’t think there is any pressure on me going into tomorrow at all,” Scott said. “It’s a different story if you are leading or close to it. Tomorrow I would like to have a nice bit of rhythm and be able to open up out there and just freewheel it.”
Scott knows better than most that the pursuers here are in an enviable position. Just last month, Phil Mickelson was five shots behind on the final day at Muirfield and won by three. One of the players he sped past was Scott, who was leading the Open with seven holes to play, only to make four consecutive bogeys and finish T-3.
Playing in the final group Saturday, Scott was trailing Jason Dufner by two shots to start the third round and was even par for the day when he came to No. 16. But the Aussie made a “bad mental error” after an errant drive, and he went from one shot behind to four back – Furyk made birdie in the group ahead – in a matter of moments.
“I was just a little off,” Scott said, “and didn’t hit it as straight down my lines as I would have liked. It’s hard to do that four days in a row in a major. Hopefully today was my day off and I can come back out tomorrow really sharp.”