The international presence of golf has grown significantly over the years. In Australia, Greg Norman spearheaded an awakening in golf throughout the ’80s and ’90s. Now, players like Adam Scott and Jason Day have propelled Australia to the forefront of the golf scene.
Adam Scott became the first Australian golfer to win the Masters Golf Tournament in 2013 – helping to popularize the long putter. In 2014, he briefly held the world No.1 ranking.
The rise of Adam Scott over the past two decades has coincided with a golf renaissance in a couple of major areas: innovation and international growth. In 2017, he continues to remain a face of golf and propel the sport forward.
While Scott has experienced significant success in the past fifteen years, the road was riddled with trials along the way. For many, his story remains a source of inspiration and a symbol of perseverance in times of great challenge.
Adam Scott Shapes International Golf
Before delving into Adam Scott’s incredible ascension, it is important to acknowledge his impact on the game. First, Adam Scott is continuing to drive the growth of golf in Australia and abroad. International players represent a significant portion of those competing on the PGA TOUR, and the LPGA also remains comprised of many international-born players.
As more international-born golfers achieve success on the largest stage, this trend will continue. With each career milestone, Adam Scott makes the game more accessible to a global audience.
Helping to Drive Innovation
Second, Adam Scott embodies the innovative atmosphere that has taken hold of golf. The sport has seen the largest influx of technology, statistical analytics, and equipment in its rich history.
When Adam Scott thrived under the international spotlight to win the 2013 Masters, he did so using a long putter – one of the latest equipment novelties. With Angel Cabrera firmly in control of the final round, Scott drained a miraculous 20-foot putt on the final hole to earn a playoff against Cabrera. In the playoff, Scott’s putting continued to shine, as he sunk at 15-foot putt to secure the victory.
Since the 2013 Masters, rules regarding the long putter have become stricter. Yet, Scott helped popularize an equipment and technological renaissance in golf – and the sport has never looked back. Golf continues to evolve at an increasingly rapid pace.
For instance, the USGA has attempted to expedite the pace of play with a simplification of rules, and many courses are embracing change to attract a younger generation to the game. Golf carts sporting unique features now cruise courses uninhibited, playing music through built-in speaker systems and changing the golf climate to one of tolerance and enjoyment.
Scott remains one of the largest advocates for these changes, both in statement and action.
Scott’s Early Exposure to Golf
Adam Scott’s enthusiasm for innovation and passion for golf were instilled in him at a young age by his father. Scott’s father designed and manufactured golf clubs, apparently passing along his curiosity for modern invention to Adam.
As Adam began demonstrating an immense talent for golf, his parents elected to enroll him at the prestigious The Kooralbyn International School – a school that has produced an array of successful golfers, including fellow Australian golfer Jason Day.
Initial and Fleeting Successes
Adam’s reputation grew significantly before moving to the U.S., particularly following victories at the Australian Boys’ Amateur Championship in both 1997 and 1998. Then, after briefly attending UNLV, Scott turned professional during the 2000 season.
His successes on the European Tour in 2001 and PGA TOUR in 2003 were almost immediate. He enjoyed multiple victories in his rookie years on both circuits, and his most noteworthy win came in the 2004 THE PLAYERS Championship.
While Adam would add five more victories before turning thirty, there was a large hole in his golfing resume: success at major championships. In fact, he had finished in the top 10 only four times in his 39 major appearances.
Scott’s career reached a low point when he finished inside the top 10 only once during the entire 2009 season. For the first time, he dropped outside of the top 100 players in golf. Yet, fate would conspire to test him again two years later in the most heartbreaking of ways.
The 2012 Open Championship
At The Open in 2012, Adam Scott asserted himself in spectacular fashion – albeit temporarily. In the opening round, Scott jumped out to the lead, shooting a six-under-par.
While Scott would battle Brandt Snedeker and Graeme McDowell over the next two rounds, Scott would enter the final day with a four-stroke lead. Scott would carry this four-stroke cushion all the way through the 14th hole – but when victory was seemingly in hand, everything began to unravel.
Four Straight Bogeys
On the 15th hole, Scott would spray his approach shot into a bunker just wide of the green, only managing to escape with a bogey. Scott started the 16th hole strong, setting himself up for a birdie putt. However, he would push the putt five feet off-course and then miss the subsequent par putt – meriting yet another bogey.
As Scott began the par-five 17th hole, Ernie Els was finishing his round with a birdie on the 18th, capping a modest resurgence that placed him one stroke behind Scott. Scott could feel the window of opportunity shrinking.
After splitting the fairway with his drive on the 17th, Scott hit his approach shot into some thick rough beyond the green. It then took him two strokes to reach the green, and he missed the putt, resulting in a bogey – and a share of the lead with Els.
On the final hole, Scott drove his ball into a bunker alongside the fairway. With the ball perched under the lip of the bunker, Scott needed to hit the ball sideways out of the sand – eventually leading to a bogey and a second-place finish in the 2012 Open Championship. His demise down the final stretch has been referenced as one of the most famous golf collapses in recent history.
The Aftermath of Scott’s Collapse
While such a devastating loss—particularly as a capstone to a series of lackluster years – would haunt most athletes, Scott cites the moment as the turning point in his career. Adam’s father believes he reached a sort of enlightenment as he watched Els hoist the championship trophy on the 18th green, and Adam himself has acknowledged the epiphany.
From there, Scott would go on to experience the success that has made him a household name. He would achieve a landmark victory at the 2013 Masters, and he has continued to build off that achievement in recent years.
While Scott has impacted the game of golf by ushering in a new wave of change, his reach now extends beyond golf. Scott endured the moments of greatest adversity with a level of resolve that has made him a universal source of inspiration.