Adam Scott is chasing more than just his second title at the Players Championship this week — the Australian has the chance to take the top spot in the world rankings. In fact, had Scott decided to skip The Players Championship this week, Scott would have automatically overtaken Tiger Woods in the world rankings. Why? How? It’s just the way the numbers work out within the OWGR system.
“See you later, guys,” said Scott, laughing as he pretended to leave the podium during his press conference on Wednesday at TPC Sawgrass. “Good to see you.”
Still, Scott, the 2004 Players Champion, can dethrone Woods as the world no. 1 with just a decent finish this week. Scott, who hasn’t finished in the top 10 since 2007, only needs to place in the top 16 to become only the second Australian to rise to the top of the rankings — and he’d be the first since Greg Norman two decades ago.
That goal hasn’t been on Scott’s mind, though.
“I haven’t been thinking about No. 1 that much, obviously,” said the current world no. 2. “Look, I’m here to win golf tournaments. That’s been the goal, and from that you can get to No. 1 in the world if you win enough, often enough. I’ve had a couple good chances this year already and haven’t been able to pull it off, not because it’s been weighing on my mind, but I just wasn’t sharp enough playing the last couple rounds at a few events.
“Like I said, I think the work since the Masters has been good, and hopefully it’s going to hold up this week. I would love to win this golf tournament and ascend to No. 1 that way and not just look for a position to do so.”
As they say, winning usually takes care of everything.
In the eyes of fellow Aussie Geoff Ogilvy, Scott is already the best player in the world, according to the Australian AP.
“No one else has played better in the last three years than Scotty, especially in big tournaments,” Ogilvy said.
“He’s a legitimate number one. He’s a way better player than Tiger at this moment right now, purely on recent record.
“Adam basically can’t finish outside the top 10. He’s always contending, especially in the big ones. Hopefully he does it in style and finishes second to me this week.”
Scott will try to channel his inner-23-year-old back in 2004 to find his way back to the winner’s circle.
“When things are going good, and you’re 23, it’s pretty easy to cruise along and you just expect to keep getting better, but to a point that’s true, except when you’re talking about trying to get to a top-5 player in the world and win the biggest tournaments and your game withstand that kind of pressure,” said Scott. “I don’t think I had a very good understanding of exactly what I needed to do to do that on a consistent basis. I showed up here and played great that week and it held up, but you can pick any other big event for the five years around that time, and it didn’t.
“So I just didn’t have the best plan in place. I went through the motions and did all the practice, but maybe it wasn’t intense enough, there wasn’t a narrow enough focus on exactly what I had to do, and thinking back to that time you’ve got a guy who was maybe the most dominant athlete in the world putting everything he has into it, and I just didn’t have a great understanding, I think, of what was required to be at the best in your field at that point.”
Meanwhile, another hot topic that hasn’t been on Scott’s mind? The anchoring ban. Scott, who uses a broomstick (long) putter, will have to switch back to a conventional flatstick on January 1, 2016, but he hasn’t been losing sleep over it.
“No, I don’t think about it much at all,” said Scott, laughing. “You’re getting a theme here: I don’t think a lot — No. 1 or anchoring.
He added, pointing to his head, “There’s a whole lot of nothing going on up in here.”
Joking aside, Scott isn’t treating the anchoring ban as a massive deal.
“I think I can figure out a pretty good solution,” he said. “There are a lot of options available, and I think I can pick one up pretty quickly, just like I picked up the long putter and anchored it. It didn’t take me long. It wasn’t a big transition. So I think I can go to some modified style or a shorter putter or something and be okay.
“I’m not thinking about it a lot. I’ll do it at the end of next year.”