Scott still privately treasures green jacket

By Jason SobelFebruary 18, 2014, 8:33 pm

Phil Mickelson can’t walk down a busy street without onlookers gawking in his direction. Same goes for Rory McIlroy, especially in certain areas of the world. Tiger Woods? Hell, he doesn’t even walk down busy streets anymore.

There is little doubt that Adam Scott, golf’s No. 2-ranked player and the reigning Masters champion, exists in the same talent classification as these peers. There is doubt, though, that many passersby would recognize him in public, hat pulled low, with maybe a surfing t-shirt, board shorts and flip flops to accent the just-another-dude attire.

Which is exactly how he likes it, of course.

On the heels of previous Masters winner Bubba Watson rocking the green jacket seemingly everywhere – during television interviews, in at-home photos with his son, while driving the General Lee – Scott offered a more, shall we say, understated approach to golf’s most coveted piece of clothing.

“Seeing people's reactions to seeing the green jacket in your house has been a lot of fun for me,” admitted the Aussie, who estimates that by the time he returns it to Augusta, he will have tried it on 365 times in front of the mirror.

Photos: Adam Scott through the years

The past year could have provided a cruel quandary in Scott’s isolated world. He is fiercely private with his personal life, living in such golf peripheries as Switzerland and the Bahamas. He doesn’t crave the spotlight, either, the rare elite pro who barely minds when his caddie steals the headlines, as happened with Steve Williams after their first victory together.

Winning the Masters, though – especially becoming the first Australian winner – is counterproductive to that lifestyle. Winning the Masters means mugging for the cameras; it means shaking hands and kissing babies; it means myriad daily intrusions to a low-key lifestyle.

If all of this has bothered Scott, he isn’t letting on.

“It's only been really compliments and praise from anyone, any of the extra attention I've got for winning, which has been welcome, I must say,” he said during a Tuesday teleconference in advance of the year’s first major. “It's nice to hear nice things, that's for sure.”

That doesn’t mean Scott hasn’t taken specific measures to curtail some attention. In the days following his playoff win over Angel Cabrera, he gave exactly two interviews – one for a U.S. television network, the other for an Australian channel. He cut back on an already-limited schedule, even this year competing in only two events during the first two months on the calendar.

And thanks to his own self-governances, being Masters champion never took a toll on his privacy.

“Certainly attention at tournaments and things like that has increased, but that's to be expected,” he explained. “That goes with the job. Really there's been no burden on me outside of that, just managing my time at the events has been an adjustment. But other than that, it's been very smooth sailing.

“To have that green jacket hanging in the closet is worth any bit of extra stuff you might have to deal with in your professional world.”

If he sounds like a player hungry to retain this success come April and beyond, that’s for good reason. A half-decade ago, Scott once answered a question as to what would be written in his lifelong memoirs someday by saying, “Wanna-be surfer. … It’ll mention golf, absolutely. But I hope there’s more to my life than just golf.”

Not that his priorities have changed and he wishes to be all-golfer, all the time, but Scott now seems more focused on pursuing stardom in his chosen profession rather than catching a wave when he’s off the course.

This focus has led to a thought process which leaves him craving more opportunities rather than celebrating those he’s already achieved.

“As a competitor and someone who likes to win and desires to win and works hard to try and win tournaments, the feeling and sense of accomplishment doesn't last very long,” he said. “It basically goes through that night and you wake up the next day and that event's over and everyone's moving on.

“You can kind of bask in the glory yourself for a little bit, but as soon as you're back out to play again, everyone's moved on and there's a new trophy to play for.  That's not undermining the sense of achievement of winning the Masters and the history of the event or any other major championship or any other tournament, but it's just kind of how it works, because 150 other guys didn't win and they are moving onto try and win the next week.

“You can't rest on your laurels.”

That’s the attitude that netted him one Masters title, and it very well might be the attitude which lands him more major championships in the very near future.

He’s still a private person, still the same guy who would rather check himself wearing the green jacket in his own home rather than posting it to Instagram for the whole world to see.

That doesn’t mean he’s any less proud. It also doesn’t mean the next time one of the game’s elite golfers walks down a busy street, draped in clothes far from anything bestowed upon him in Butler Cabin, he’ll be any more recognizable to those around him.

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Phil rubs fan's Donald Duck hat seven times, signs it

By Nick MentaJune 18, 2018, 3:09 pm

There is a case to be made that what Phil Mickelson did on Saturday made a mockery of a major championship and was worthy of derision.

There is also a case to be made that the USGA's setup of Shinnecock Hills made a mockery of a major championship and was worthy of derision.

Whatever you think about what Mickelson did on Saturday - and how he attempted to justify it after the fact without even a hint of remorse - watch this video.

The next time you hear someone say, "If anybody else had putted a moving ball on purpose and not apologized for it, it would get a different reaction," you can point to this video and say, "Yeah, here's why."

Here's what happened once a still-strident Mickelson was done rubbing Donald Duck hats on Sunday, per Ryan Lavner:

If you’re wondering whether Mickelson would be defiant or contrite on Sunday, we don’t know the answer. He declined to stop and speak with the media, deciding instead to sign autographs for more than a half hour and then offering a few short answers before ducking into player hospitality.

“The real question is, ‘What am I going to do next?’” he said. “I don’t know.”

The 2024 Ryder Cup at Bethpage is going to be a three-ring circus, and Mickelson, a likely choice to captain the U.S. team, will be the ringmaster.

Separately, shoutout to 2017 Latin Am champ Toto Gana, who does a terrific Donald Duck (skip to end).

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Ryder Cup race: Mickelson out, Simpson in

By Will GrayJune 18, 2018, 2:34 pm

There's a new man at the top of the U.S. Ryder Cup race following the U.S. Open, and there's also a familiar name now on the outside looking in.

Brooks Koepka's successful title defense vaulted him to the top of the American points race, up four spots and ensuring he'll be on the team Jim Furyk takes to Paris in September. Dustin Johnson's third-place finish moved him past Patrick Reed at No. 2, while Webb Simpson entered the top eight after a a tie for 10th.

While Bryson DeChambeau remained at No. 9, Phil Mickelson dropped two spots to No. 10. Tony Finau, who finished alone in fifth, went from 16th to 13th, while Tiger Woods fell two spots to No. 37.

Here's a look at the latest U.S. standings, with the top eight after the PGA Championship qualifying automatically:

1. Brooks Koepka

2. Dustin Johnson

3. Patrick Reed

4. Justin Thomas

5. Jordan Spieth

6. Rickie Fowler

7. Bubba Watson

8. Webb Simpson


9. Bryson DeChambeau

10. Phil Mickelson

11. Matt Kuchar

12. Brian Harman

On the European side, England's Tommy Fleetwood took a big stride toward securing his first Ryder Cup appearance with a runner-up finish that included a Sunday 63 while countryman Matthew Fitzpatrick snuck into a qualifying spot after tying for 12th.

Here's a look at the updated Euro standings, with the top four from both points lists joining four picks from captain Thomas Bjorn at Le Golf National:

European Points

1. Tyrrell Hatton

2. Justin Rose

3. Tommy Fleetwood

4. Francesco Molinari


5. Thorbjorn Olesen

6. Ross Fisher

World Points

1. Jon Rahm

2. Rory McIlroy

3. Alex Noren

4. Matthew Fitzpatrick


5. Ian Poulter

6. Rafael Cabrera-Bello

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Koepka autographs local kids' 'Go Brooks' sign after win

By Grill Room TeamJune 18, 2018, 2:30 pm

Brooks Koepka is a two-time U.S. Open winner, but that doesn't mean he's now too big to go sign a couple pieces of cardboard in somebody's front yard in the middle of the night.

Koepka's girlfriend, Jena Sims, posted two pictures to her Instagram story on Sunday of "Go Brooks" signs she says were put up by some local kids in the area where Koepka was staying for the week.

The first is dated prior to Koepka's final-round tee time.

The second is from Sunday night.

And here, separately, for no reason in particular (other than the fact that she posted it) is a video of Sims running over a parking cone at last year's U.S. Open at Erin Hills.

Speaking of kids, just feels those two are gonna make it.

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Koepka moves to No. 4 in world with U.S. Open win

By Will GrayJune 18, 2018, 2:05 pm

After successfully defending his U.S. Open title, Brooks Koepka reached a new career high in the Official World Golf Ranking.

Koepka held off Tommy Fleetwood to win by a shot Sunday at Shinnecock Hills, becoming the first player to go back-to-back in nearly 30 years. As a result, he jumped five spots in the latest rankings to No. 4, six spots higher than he reached with last year's U.S. Open victory at Erin Hills.

Fleetwood finished alone in second place and moved up two spots to No. 10, tying his career-best placement. Patrick Reed moved up two spots to No. 11 by finishing fourth, while fifth-place Tony Finau went from No. 37 to No. 31.

Updated Official World Golf Ranking

It was a largely quiet week in the rankings despite the fact that a major championship was contested. Outside of Koepka and Finau, the only other player inside the top 50 to move up or down more than three spots was Jason Dufner, who went from 53rd to 48th with a T-25 finish.

Dustin Johnson remains world No. 1 for the second consecutive week, followed by Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Koepka and Jordan Spieth. Jon Rahm dropped one spot to No. 6, with Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Jason Day and Fleetwood rounding out the top 10. Hideki Matsuyama fell two spots to No. 12, dropping out of the top 10 for the first time since October 2016.

Despite a missed cut at Shinnecock, Tiger Woods actually moved up one spot to No. 79 in the latest rankings. He plans to play the Quicken Loans National and The Open in the coming weeks, which will be his final two chances to move into the top 50 in time to qualify for the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. The event is being held for the final time this summer at Firestone Country Club, where Woods has won eight times.