2015 Preview: Adam Scott

Scott-regulation-celebration

Welcome to the 2015 Golf Preview, where I’ll take a look at selected golfers and examine what to expect over the next twelve months. Today, we look at Adam Scott.

The History

Adam Scott turned pro back in 2000 at the age of 20, and quickly found success, winning the Alfred Dunhill Championship in January of 2001, and picking up three more victories in Europe before making the jump to the PGA Tour and winning the 2003 Deutsche Bank Championship. He followed that up in 2004 with the biggest win of his career to that point when he won the PLAYERS Championship, becoming the youngest ever winner of the event.

After more success over the next few years, Scott rose to the number three spot in the Official World Golf Rankings ahead of the 2008 U.S. Open, sitting behind only Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. He dipped badly in 2009 though, falling outside of the top 50 after posting just one top 10 finish on the PGA Tour and missing the cut in more than half of the tournaments he entered. 2010 was better though, with a pair of wins worldwide and in 2011, he teamed up with caddie Steve Williams, who had been fired by Woods and in their first tournament together as a full-time pair, Scott picked up the win at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

Scott entered the 2012 season as the fifth ranked player in the world, and after some good finishes at the Masters and U.S. Open, it looked like Scott was going to get his first major win at the Open Championship. Carrying a four shot lead with four holes to play, Scott evoked far too many memories of fellow countryman Greg Norman, bogeying the last four holes at Royal Lytham and giving Ernie Els his second Claret Jug and fourth major overall.

Scott would win later in 2012 at home in Australia, and with Williams on the bag for the first time at Augusta National, Scott was able to defeat the valiant effort of Angel Cabrera in a tremendous playoff at the 2013 Masters. It was a long time coming for both Scott and his native Australia, who had seen more cruel heartbreak at the Georgia track than any other nation.

Scott's putt goes in, and he has his first major championship.

Scott’s putt goes in, and he has his first major championship.

Since then, Scott has won seven times worldwide and ascended to the number one spot in the OWGR before losing it to Rory McIlroy. Entering 2015, Scott currently ranks third behind McIlroy and Henrik Stenson.

ESPN’s Adam Scott Headshot

ESPN.com has a lot of great golf content, but their player headshots are, shall we say, a little outdated, with Ryan Moore leading the way. As such, I’m introducing the Ryan Moore headshot ranking system. Each player will get a ranking from 1-10, with 10 being the most outdated possible.

Here’s Scott’s headshot from ESPN:

scott espn

Scott’s look hasn’t changed that much over the years, and as many women will tell you, that’s a very good thing, but this photo is pretty old. Notice the lettering on his collar? Scott used to be sponsored by Burberry, but he broke that off at some point in 2009 when he signed on with Ashworth.

I’m giving him a 7/10 for this because it’s pretty outdated, but as my mother would say, he’s always a 10.

7-moore-heads

Why You Should Watch

Outside of his looks, there’s actually another aesthetic reason to watch Scott and that’s that his swing is pretty much flawless:

Scott's approach into the third playoff hole at Colonial.

Scott’s approach into the third playoff hole at Colonial.

Scott has used that gorgeous swing to win a tournament somewhere in the world every year since 2001, which is probably the longest running record of that nature in the game today. He’s a great ball striker, who tends to be very aggressive, especially with the long clubs and he’s quite good with those. He also usually plays a very light schedule, so when he plays, you should probably tune in because it could be more than a month before you get another opportunity.

Scott in one GIF

04.12.14 scott smile

STOP TAUNTING ME WITH YOUR GOOD LOOKS, ADAM. I GET IT.

The Question

How will he adapt to the anchored putter ban?

Statistically, Scott has never been a great putter with the exception of one year. As Richie3Jack pointed out in his excellent Pro Golf Synopsis, Scott actually led the PGA Tour in strokes gained putting back in 2004, back when he was using a standard length putter:

scott sgp ranks

Scott hasn’t said what his plan is yet in terms of when he’s going to make the switch, but he’s going to be forced to do it next January, so you’d think that he’ll make the switch at some point during the season. Now, obviously just because he led the PGA Tour in strokes gained eleven years ago doesn’t mean that he’ll just pick up where he left off and do it again because he’s seen some pretty ugly days with the putter. If I had to guess where he ranked last year, 55th wouldn’t have been the number because he has some absolutely wretched days on the greens where it looks like he couldn’t hit one of those stupid hack golf cups.

Obviously with him ranked 3rd in the world, there’s a lot expected of Scott, but with all of the other players making headlines, it kind of feels like he’s flying under the radar a little bit which considering how private of a life he leads, I’m sure he’s just fine with that. Betting on his yearly winning streak to end is a bad idea because regardless of what putter he’s using, he’s such a good ball striker that it’s probably going to work out for him anyway.

It’s pretty good to be Adam Scott.

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