Question: How does one recover from losing a major championship in such painful fashion as did Adam Scott at the 2012 Open Championship?
Answer: You bite your lip, hold back the floodgates of emotion, accept it graciously, point toward “next time” and then bounce back to win the Masters.
Yep, that’s what Adam Scott did on Sunday at Augusta National, in a dramatic sudden death playoff against two-time major champion and the rejuvenated Angel Cabrera, thus becoming the first Australian to win the storied championship. Hard to believe this roster of fine Down Under players never donned a green jacket: Greg Norman, David Graham (now serving on the Masters Cup & Tee Committee), Kel Nagle, Bruce Crampton, Ian Baker-Finch, Geoff Ogilvy, Robert Allenby, and Stuart Appleby.
Afterwards, Scott said: “It’s amazing that it’s my destiny to be the first Aussie to win. It’s incredible.”
How did the incredible happen? Exacting shotmaking, patience, competent putting, no train wrecks, and going six-under par on the weekend (69-69) were the ingredients for Scott’s popular triumph on a soggy, cloudy day. In the last round, the stats revealed Scott led the field in the all-important Greens in Regulation category with 15 which put less pressure on his anchored long putter to make crucial, gut-wrenching par saves. For the week, he incurred only two three-putts. Also, for the entire week he was only in a greenside bunker once. He also avoided the “big number” by carding no double bogies or higher for the week, making only four bogies for the tournament—one each round. On Sunday, he bogied the tough first hole (2nd most difficult for the week) but from then on was four-under par.
But stats don’t reveal the size of Scott’s heart and his determination to overcome the adversity and self-doubt engendered by last summer’s collapse at Royal Lytham & St. Annes. In the Press interview after his British Open win, Ernie Els said about Scott: “I really said to him, ‘I’m sorry how things turned out.’ I told him that I’ve been there many times and you’ve just got to bounce back quickly. Don’t let this thing linger.”
When asked in his post-round interview about how he’d handle this major setback, Scott said: “I’m optimistic and I want to take all the good stuff that I did this week and use that for the next time I’m out on the course. I didn’t finish the tournament well today. But next time — I’m sure there will be a next time — I will do a better job of it.”
By winning the 2013 Masters, a buoyant Adam Scott proved the “next time” is gloriously now.