LAS VEGAS – After playing 18 holes with amateur Jack Trent on Tuesday, Adam Scott thought the UNLV junior could have “a really solid week.”
After an opening bogey Thursday at TPC Summerlin, Trent ripped off five birdies before he dropped another shot. He finished his round bogey-birdie-bogey-birdie for a 4-under 67 in his PGA Tour debut.
“First tee nerves got me,” he admitted. “Bounced back with a birdie and after that really started to settle in.”
Trent is playing on a sponsor exemption this week thanks to his victory at the Southern Highlands Collegiate. Texas standout Cole Hammer appeared to have the tournament won but missed a 2-footer on the first playoff hole, and Trent took the victory two holes later.
“So here I am,” Trent said.
Here he is, fresh off a practice round with his idol. A fellow Aussie, Trent grew up, like Scott, in Queensland. He even attended the same school back in Oz and now attends the same college here in Vegas.
Scott, who was an All-American for the Rebels during a brief collegiate career from 1999 to 2000, called Trent last week to offer him the Tuesday pairing.
Asked on Wednesday why it’s important for him to give back and mentor a younger player, Scott thought back to his arriving in the U.S. as “a hot shot junior from Australia” who dreamt of playing on the PGA Tour but struggled to adapt to college life.
“It was one of those kind of moments I had to grow up that first year here,” he said. “I really struggled with my golf. I was obviously struggling to enjoy it. I never dreamt of going to a university class in my life, and I was taking class. I thought school was done after grade 12. I was back in the classroom.
“Looking back on it now, it was probably one the biggest learning curves for me, so I look back on it with strong memories. When the coaches reach out, or obviously I know Jack is an Australian playing there, I remember all the good things that it did for me, the foundation kind of times in my life.”
Oddly enough, Scott and Trent both joked that they tried to stay out of each other’s way for most of the round, not wanting to bother the other.
Nonetheless, Trent was overjoyed to go 18 holes with his hero.
“It was just very casual – made me feel like I belong out here a little bit,” Trent said.
“It felt natural. I thank him for that.”