Adam Scott hasn’t had the best season in the world, especially for a guy who was ranked no. 1 in the world at this time last year, so he drifted relatively under the radar this week at the U.S. Open — that is, until Sunday’s final round when he shot the low score of the week, posting a six-under 64.
The finish boosted him into a tie for fourth, along with fellow Australian Cameron Smith and South African Branden Grace at three-under, 277 for the championship.
For Scott, the golden final round included six birdies on nos. 2, 7, 8, 11, 16 and 18. Scott recorded nothing worse than a par on Sunday. In other words, he was bogey-free.
“I played really well and I took advantage of some of the holes playing a bit shorter and didn’t have any disasters out there and hit a few good shots and took advantage of them,” said Scott. “I’d love to come back and play 18 holes tomorrow and have another shot at it. I feel like I had nothing to lose today and everything to gain. It was a big effort for me today. To be honest, it’s the kind of round I needed to get things going for me this year.”
Scott certainly saved the best for last and went into Sunday with the hopes of making a run.
“I came to the course thinking that if I got to under par it would be all right, and then I saw the setup and I kind of thought that might not be enough,” he said. “So, toward the end I wanted to get a couple of birdies coming in. I knew 18 is a 5 and 16 is drivable. There are going to be a lot of birdies there. So it was important, I thought, late in the round to get to 3 and post and at least have the leaders think about things through to the 15th before they get their opportunities at 16 and 18.”
Scott held the no. 1 ranking in the world for a period last year, but lost it in August. Heading into this year’s U.S. Open, he was no. 12 in the world.
Perhaps the most important factor in Scott’s fine play was his reunion with former full-time caddie Steve Williams. The match proved to be successful once again, as Scott finished Sunday’s round as the clubhouse leader before Louis Oosthuizen posted an incredible score of 29 on his final nine holes.
Williams caddied for Tiger Woods for 13 years before being relieved in July 2011. He then joined Scott for three years before separating at the end of the 2013-14 PGA Tour season to spend more time with his wife and 8-year-old son in New Zealand. In 2013, Williams helped Scott win his first and only major championship at the Masters.
Sometimes players need a confidence boost or reassurance. Williams provided Scott with just that as they navigated Chambers Bay’s difficult fairways and greens.
“I’ve been working hard at it and I just haven’t figured out what it is,” said Scott. “And putting it altogether, it’s been frustrating for sure. But this is the kind of event where you have to put all of that frustration aside and keep your patience, and I did that well this week. Every day I could have been a little upset with how things went out there for me because I felt I played pretty good. Today I got all the reward.”