Adam Scott wins, ahead of a summer of tinkering and Legends Tour support.

Words: Paul Prendergast

Photo: Mark Wilson – Golfplus Media.

It was a somewhat cruel but still satisfying end to official tournament golf in 2023 for Queenslander Adam Scott, following the completion of the recent ISPS HANDA Australian Open at The Australian Golf Club.

A recent surge of form included a tied 5th placing on the PGA TOUR in Bermuda,  6th at the Australian PGA and a tie for 4th at the Australian Open, from which he also ensured his place in the 2024 Open Championship at Royal Troon.  However, its now well documented how tragedy struck for Scott at The Australian when a triple-bogey on his 70th hole of the championship cruelled hopes of at least a playoff berth, alongside eventual champion, Joaquin Niemann, and Rikuya Hoshino.

His final round charge was a roller coaster affair at best and particularly so over his final holes – three-putting the par-five 5th for a par before holing an unlikely birdie putt from long range on the very next hole to join the lead at 14-under. The electric atmosphere from the crowds that had swelled to watch him finish were soon reduced to something resembling a week-old party balloon when the next hole dealt Scott that triple, which included an original in-bounds ruling left of the fairway before it was subsequently overturned on review.

While the Open marked the end of his official commitments, he did have one final and ultimately successfully foray into tournament action two days later, winning the 36-hole Cathedral Invitational north of Melbourne. In claiming his first win of any description since 2020, Scott carved out a commanding three-stroke victory with rounds of 64-68 for a 12-under par total in the company of fellow major champions Cameron Smith and Geoff Ogilvy.

“It feels good, it’s just really satisfying to just keep playing good golf,” Scott said. “These few weeks are inspiring for me going into next year to do big things and come back with lots of trophies.”

Scott will now enjoy some down time in Queensland where I’m sure the clubs will be shelved for a period of time. Although, considering his comments at the conclusion of the Australian Open, perhaps not for too long. 

After a career-long association with Titleist equipment, 2023 has been a year of experimentation for Scott, fronting for tournaments with what has seemed to be a different driver and/or set of irons in the bag every other week. His recent patch of form is unlikely to result in him sitting pat with the same set moving forward either. 

“The only good side about not having events to play the next few weeks is I can fiddle some more.” he grinned ”I’ve got a pro shop in my garage waiting for me.”

So with his mixed bag about to be replaced over the summer with a few mixed bags (pies), what might have gone unnoticed to many has been the Queenslander’s involvement in a new PGA Legends Tour event at his long-time home club, the Sanctuary Cove Golf and Country Club (Pines course), on Monday 11 December.   

Earlier in the year, Scott made a guest appearance at a PGA Legends Tour pro-am at Headlands Golf Club on the Sunshine Coast, with memories of the 10-under 62 (with a bogey included) he shot still etched in the memories of the professionals and amateurs who witnessed it.

Such was his enjoyment of the day and the comradery with players who were largely around when he turned professional, he agreed to join Peter Senior in lending their names and support for the inaugural Sanctuary Cove Golf & CC Legends Pro-Am, hosted by Adam Scott and Peter Senior, marking his first involvement in the local PGA Legends Tour. 

Sanctuary Cove Golf and Country Club Operations Manager, Ryan Gailey, said everyone involved is very excited for the event, with the golf course in arguably the best shape it’s even been in.

“The amateur spots sold out inside four days, making it one of the quickest selling events in the club’s history.” he said. “And we’re already fielding enquiries from golfers and the corporate sector who are eager to be involved in next year’s event.”   

Although it’s doubtful Scott will be temped to play as he did earlier this year, the field for the $45,,000 event is still brimming with some of the best that Australian Legends Tour golf has to offer – including Senior, former Open champion and club member Ian Baker-Finch, Peter Lonard, David McKenzie, Andre Stolz, Paul Gow, Mike Harwood and David Bransdon.

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