Adam Scott Wins The Masters And Damn, He Looks Good In Green

The year was 1998 at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, MN, where the top collegiate golfers in the country were teeing it up in the NCAA Championship Fall Preview event.  The NCAA Championship was to be held at Hazeltine the following spring, and as tradition held, the top players and teams from around the country were invited to compete at the same Championship venue the fall prior to get a sneak peak at what awaited them come springtime.

Top collegiate players such as Charles Howell III (Oklahoma St), Ryuji Imada (Georgia), Luke Donald (Northwestern) and others made the trip to Minnesota that fall, where I was in attendance for the tourney as I grew up relatively nearby in Stillwater.

As I was traversing my way around the course that day following some of the top talent, I had a memorable moment over on the 6th hole.  Standing behind a young, lanky and wiry freshman from UNLV as he teed off with a steel shafted 3-wood on the tight par 4, the player snap-hooked his tee shot well left  of the fairway, left of the tall standing trees and into someone’s backyard, out of bounds.  It wasn’t one of those misses to the left where you follow and hope it ends up ok, but rather it was one of those toe-hook jobbers that screams left with some serious top spin immediately after it leaves the face where you can’t even bear to watch.  The freshman grabbed another ball from his bag, quickly re-teed striping it down the middle and went onward down the hole ultimately making triple bogey, without even looking for his first tee shot knowing that it had come to rest out of bounds.  Since there were no gallery ropes for this event, I wandered over past the left rough, into that backyard and picked up the ball with a UNLV logo and kept it.  Still to this day I have that ball in my golf ball display case.  The player who snap-hooked that tee shot OB that day?  Adam Scott.

So, you may ask, why do I reference such a not-so-glamorous story about a player who is on top of the golfing world at the moment?  Basically, it’s amazingly awesome and impressive to see how far Adam has come with his game.  Not that one bad shot should be fully representative of a player’s game, but Adam’s swing, demeanor, physique and skill set today are worlds better than from his (abbreviated) collegiate days at UNLV.  The 32-year-old Aussie has worked incredibly hard at his game and after Sunday, now has a green jacket to show for it.

We all watched the tourney on Sunday, all saw the saw the ups and downs from the rest of the field and how Adam, despite not holing anything on the greens all day just kept putting himself in position time and again.  Adam did an amazing job of composing himself after missing key birdie putts on 14 and 16 to just keep giving himself chances.  Finally, after he got the birdie to drop on 18, Adam’s emotional outpouring and exuberant celebration made it overly evident how badly he wanted to win this championship.  Then, to follow that all-time emotional high, with the letdown of oh-crap-Cabrera-just-birdied-I-have-to-somehow-collect-myself-to-go-into-a-playoff and then to actually fully compose himself into resuming the striping of world class golf shots was simply incredible.  Once he poured in his birdie putt on the second playoff hole, all of Australia’s long-awaited ultimate destiny was his.

I believe fellow Aussie Ian Baker-Finch summed it up best on the Masters telecast when he said, “From Down Under to on top of the world Jim.”  Congrats Adam on a job well done, you’ve made an entire golfing nation and everyone in the game of golf proud….and damn, you look good in green.

Joel Harrington

Adam Scott green jacket

Adam Scott, your 2013 Masters Champion

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