Scott faces golfing immortality tomorrow
BY Bruce Young | Australasian PGA Tour | 2013 Emirates Australian Open | Day Three | 30 Nov 2013
Adam Scott is just twenty four hours away from rounding off a phenomenal year in tournament golf and from completing the rare feat of winning all three of Australian golf’s flagship events in the one season.
While already established in Australian golfing folklore Scott can take his place in golfing history to another level again with victory tomorrow at the Emirates Australian Open.
Scott today added a round of 68 to head into tomorrow’s final round at Royal Sydney four shots ahead of the second highest world ranked player in the field, Rory McIlroy.
There is a a further four shots back to the 3rd placed Richard Green, Matt Jones and surprise package, Max McCardle, and so it would appears that only McIlroy offers any genuine threat to Scott’s aspirations for tomorrow as it would require something exceptional from the third placed trio and a very uncharacteristic round of golf from Scott.
It was a day where swings and roundabouts prevailed. Beginning the day two ahead Scott birdied the first but so too did the Northern Irishman but although Scott found the bunker and bogeyed the 4th so too did McIlory but it would be at the next, the uphill par four 5th, which would see Scott open up a break.
McIlroy missed the green long and right and too double bogey and all of a sudden the gap was four and it would be the emerging Richard Green and Matt Jones who became Scott’s nearest challengers.
Scott reeled off a hattrick of birdies from the 7th to create yet another big buffer but before long McIlory was back within two before Scott birdied the 14th and the last from 6 feet to grab a four shot lead.
Scott has recorded 23 birdies in 54 holes and appears set for quite a few more tomorrow. It may be that he needs very few to lock up the title but the manner in which he is playing suggests that a birdie free round is almost an impossibility for the game’s hottest current player.
An interesting mix of players are one shot further back, namely rookie Nathan Holman, former Australian Open Champion Stuart Appleby, Leigh McKechnie and former Australian Amateur Champion Scott Arnold.
Jason Day, who struggled through his opening two rounds, bounced back today with a round of 66 but at 6 under and ten shots from Scott it is a case of too little too late in his quest to win his first Australian Open Championship. It was however a round more in keeping with the class of player we saw win last week’s World Cup and if he can finish of with another great round tomorrow then it further enhance his two week visit to Australia.
Huge crowds flocked to Royal Sydney to witness the battle between the world number two and six players and two players who enjoy enormous public appeal. It has been some time since crowds in such numbers have watched tournament golf in Australia further highlighting the benefit Adam Scott exploits have given Australian golf.
Adam Scott has already achieved a level of greatness in 2013 with his historic win at Augusta National, his win at the PGA Championship, his victory at the Talisker Masters at Royal Melbourne and his share of the World Cup team spoils last week in Melbourne.
Tomorrow Scott can complete earnings of close to $1.5 million in his four weeks campaign in Australia. He has no doubt earned even more by just his appearance in those events but he has been worth every cent and deserves everything that comes his way.
At the completion of tomorrow’s final round three players will have a start at the Open Championship at Royal Liverpool next year. Those go to the leading three players inside the top ten and ties who are not already exempt.
There is therefore more to play for than just the title of Australian Open Champion but for Adam Scott there is only one feat on his mind as he looks ahead to Sunday evening and hoisting the Australian Open trophy.