To bear in mind Adam Scott with out putting issues is to assume again to a time way back, when he was successful the Players Championship in a blustery March and taking short-game ideas from fellow Aussie Greg Norman.
When Scott gained the 2004 Players, he was 23, a can’t-miss star whose work with teacher Butch Harmon elicited comparisons to Tiger Woods; their swing motion was so related.
Fast-forward to a follow spherical final week at TPC Sawgrass, the place Scott discovered himself amid Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Nick Watney, all college students of Harmon or Harmon’s son, Claude Harmon III. The elder Harmon was there for the follow spherical, too, and with that got here tales and recollections.
“Me being an ex-pupil, I tagged alongside for the trip,” stated Scott, 37, who clearly loved the banter however nonetheless finds himself going through a predicament that even he has problem wrapping his arms round:
Scott is not but qualified for the U.S. Open.
And if he fails to make it into subsequent month’s discipline at Shinnecock Hills, he’ll miss his first main championship since the 2001 U.S. Open, a 17-year streak of 67 in a row — surpassed solely by Sergio Garcia, who has performed 75 straight.
“It’s not the scenario I need to discover myself in,” stated Scott, who is taking part in on this week’s AT&T Byron Nelson as a part of a push to qualify for the U.S. Open. “I take a look at what I’ve finished over the previous 12 months and I am not stunned. I believe I’ve at instances performed higher golf than my scores present. I simply have not gotten the finest out of myself.
“My putting has been erratic. Poor general, with good and unhealthy in there. I am not getting the finest out of my scores. If it have been the different approach round, I might have shot a pair higher right here and there. And these 15th-place finishes as a substitute are top-10s and much more world-ranking factors in the scheme of issues.”
Scott’s tie for 11th at the Players was his finest end of 2018 and the finest since he tied for 13th at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. His final top-10 was a tie for 10th at the FedEx St. Jude the week previous to final yr’s U.S. Open; he hasn’t been in the top-10 since ending third at the finish of 2016 at the Australian PGA.
To that finish, his world rating has slipped significantly, from seventh at the finish of 2016 to 31st at the finish of final yr to 71st two weeks in the past following the Wells Fargo Championship — the place he determined to make one other putting change.
“If you look at his putting stats, they’re horrendous,” said Harmon, who also works as an analyst for Sky Sports in the United Kingdom. “His ballstriking stats are wonderful. He’s bought one among the finest swings in the historical past of golf, however his putting stats are horrendous, and that is what has actually harm him. To assume Adam Scott is No.  in the world [following his finish at the Players Championship] is exhausting to imagine. And each time you do not putt effectively, you place quite a lot of strain in your lengthy recreation.”
Scott moved as much as 65th following the Players and must be in the high 60 following this week’s match to qualify for the U.S. Open. Short of that, he can try 36-hole sectional qualifying on June four or once more hope to maneuver into the high 60 by the June 11 qualifying deadline.
The hope is to keep away from the sectional route — he might play one in Columbus, Ohio, the Monday following the Memorial Tournament by taking part in effectively in the subsequent few occasions.
“I plan to play until I’m not in,” said Scott, who has 13 PGA Tour victories and another 13 international titles (including the Australian Open). “I am by no means going to say I am unable to do it. I really feel my recreation is attending to a spot the place I undoubtedly can put some top-10s collectively and even higher.
“My angle’s been good. There have been some moments of frustration, in fact. I’ve spoiled quite a lot of good golf with a number of balls in the water and double [bogeys] at inopportune instances. Momentum-killers. When your confidence is not proper there, and you are preventing to get again up, that is type of shattering. It can then take you 18 holes to work your self again to the place you have been. Then the match’s over. And you are nowhere once more. Courses are powerful, guys are superb, you need to be very sharp. And I simply have not been that sharp.”
Scott determined he needed to get his poor putting straightened out. So he went again to a protracted putter two weeks in the past, the one he first used when switching to it in 2011.
Back then, Scott had myriad putting points and went to the lengthy putter with an anchored stroke for assist. He had a unique lengthy putter in his bag when he gained the 2013 Masters. While he was by no means at the high of the recreation as a putter, he was higher than common.
Then the guidelines modified; on Jan. 1, 2016, gamers might now not use an anchored stroke. The rule did not outlaw the putter, simply the potential to put it in opposition to the physique. Scott went again to a brief putter and gained twice in 2016 however has kind of struggled since that point.
Now he is making an attempt the lengthy putter once more, however doing so with out anchoring. The swap seems to have finished him some good — not less than for now.
“I am feeling actually comfy with my recreation,” he stated. “As quickly as you putt a bit higher, there is extra freedom you’re feeling in all places else. The confidence to type of free swing and free pitch and free chip since you really feel like you are going to roll putts at the gap on a extra common foundation.
“I believe I will have yr as a result of issues are a little bit bit extra below my management.”