Adam Scott has been looking forward to the Open Championship all year for obvious reasons, of course. With added confidence and a tougher mentality, Scott is gunning to avenge his collapse coming down the stretch last year at Royal Lytham.
As you must recall, Scott had a four-shot lead with four holes to play and made four bogeys to let the Claret Jug slip through his fingers. However, he clearly rebounded quite nicely, with his win at the Masters in April (and he has the Green Jacket with him here). He revealed a curious bit of insight in his post-win press conference at Augusta, saying he still felt like he’d won despite losing to Ernie Els.
Some players never get over such a heartbreaking loss — because, well, they’re mental midgets — but Scott managed to find the positives and used it as impetus to get over the hump at a major just eight months later, which is pretty incredible.
Looking back to a year ago, Scott said he simply wasn’t tough enough coming down the stretch.
“I wasn’t tough enough that day,” he said on Wednesday at Muirfield. “A four-shot lead isn’t enough if you’re not going to be tough. Even if you’re being tough, four shots can only just get you over the line.”
At the Australian Open last year, he played a practice round with Tom Watson, who waited seven holes to bring up what happened at Lytham, but then imparted some words of wisdom.
“He said that he let one slip early in his career, and he said he would never let that happen again,” said Scott. “He would just be tough and want it so badly. And sometimes maybe that has to happen for you to realize that. Obviously words coming from him I took to heart. It was a completely different situation at Augusta. But I felt like I played tough, especially in the playoff, because no one’s going to give you a major.”
Indeed, he did.
By the way, Scott is on my short list of favorites to win this week.