Adam Scott can add to his Australian PGA crown this weekend. Image courtesy of heraldsun.com.au/Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
Adam Scott completed a career Australian golf triple crown last Sunday when he took out the PGA Championship at Royal Pines, but he has his eye further afield. With the Australian Masters at Royal Melbourne this weekend and the Australian Open to follow at Royal Sydney, Scott has the chance to emulate Robert Allenby’s amazing run in 2005 when he became the only player to complete the triple crown in the same year.
After a scare on the final day, Scott eventually cruised to victory on the Gold Coast with a four-round score of 14 under par. He beat American Rickie Fowler by four shots, while trainee pro Jack Wilson from Melbourne produced rounds of 69 and 68 over the weekend to finish in third spot.
Scott triumphed at Kingston Heath last year despite some sizzling golf from defending champion Ian Poulter over the weekend. Given his self-destruction earlier that year at the British Open, Scott’s victory in his home Masters and his ability to close out a tournament under pressure allowed him to add a green jacket at Augusta to the gold jacket already in his wardrobe earlier this year.
As usual, the players will take on a composite course at Royal Melbourne, with the set up similar to when the venue hosted the 2011 President’s Cup. Scott collected two points from five matches in that event, but he did beat Phil Mickelson in the singles on the Sunday. His record there was better than the high-profile visitor heading to Royal Melbourne this week, Matt Kuchar . The world No. 8 won just one of his five matches.
Kuchar made his professional debut at the 2000 Australian Open at Kingston Heath. He won twice on the US PGA Tour this year and comes in to this after tying for 7th at The McGladrey Classic last week. He honeymooned with his family in Australia and has professed his love in the past for Melbourne’s famed Sandbelt courses.
Mark Leishman never really threatened at Royal Pines last week, and he is still looking for his first PGA Tour win in Australia. Given he tied for fourth at the US Masters and 12th at the PGA Championship this year, he should be in the mix. 2006 US Open winner Geoff Ogilvy is also amongst the favourites; he hasn’t won on the PGA Tour since the start of 2010, although he does have victories in the 2008 Australian PGA and 2010 Australian Open to his credit.
New Zealander Gareth Paddison finished in a tie for third last year at Kingston Heath and comes in to this on the back of a tie for sixth on the Gold Coast. Also in the field are Fiji’s Major winner Vijay Singh and Brendon de Jonge , the 72nd-ranked Zimbabwean who appeared in this year’s President’s Cup as a captain’s pick by his countryman Nick Price. He was two and two in pairs play with Ernie Els but went down to Jason Dufner in the singles.
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