Luke Donald is one of a handful of notable players making his PGA TOUR season debut this week at the Northern Trust Open.
Three years ago, Donald nearly won at Riviera, finishing second to Steve Stricker. The last two years haven't been as kind to Donald -- he missed the cut last year and finished outside the top 50 in 2011. For more on Donald, check out his Top 100 to Watch in 2013 profile.
Others notables making their debut this week, include:
Sergio Garcia: This marks the second time in as many years Garcia has opened his TOUR season at Riviera. Last year, he tied for fourth at Hogan's Alley. In 2007, he finished sixth.
Graeme McDowell: This is the first time since 2009 McDowell is playing the Northern Trust Open. He's missed the cut twice and finished in a tie for 41st in his only appearances there.
Adam Scott: The 2007 Northern Trust Open winner has two finishes in the top 20 in his last three trips to L.A., including a tie for 17th a year ago when he also began his TOUR season there.
Ernie Els: The reigning British Open champ has already played three times on the European Tour. This is the latest Els has made his TOUR debut since 2008 when he opened with the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship.
To preview the 2013 PGA TOUR season, PGATOUR.COM is counting down the Top 100 Players to Watch in 2013. For an archive page with the top 100 players and for an explanation on how the list was compiled, click here.
2013 PREVIEW: Adam Scott overtook Ian Poulter with a final-round 67 to win the Talisker Masters in his homeland in November but 2012 will always be remembered for the one the Aussie let slip away. So after finishing 15th or better in all four majors, including that career-high but disappointing solo second at the British Open, Scott will looking to take the next step in 2013.
2012 DEFINING MOMENT: Scott opened with a 64 and was nothing short of dominating at Royal Lytham & St. Annes, taking a four-stroke lead into the final round and poised for his first major title in 46 starts. He self-destructed with bogeys on the final four holes, though, and Ernie Els walked away wtih the Claret Jug for the second time in his career. He bounced back well with two top 10s in the FedExCup Playoffs on the way to a 25th-place finish overall. –- Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
ALBERS’ QUICK TAKE: The British Open was filled with conflicting emotions for me. I was thrilled Ernie Els had won but felt terrible The Open had slipped away from Adam. Everyone likes Adam Scott. All the girls want to date him; all the guys want to swing like him. -- Fred Albers, SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio
BOLTON’S FANTASY OUTLOOK: The Aussie took an $865K hit in salary, which means it's time to reinvest at $2.899 million. For critics that want to cite a lost opportunity at the British Open, I circle top-15s in all four majors and THE PLAYERS, and another appearance in the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola. Because he (still) hasn't won a major, some gamers are led to believe that his fantasy value is somehow disappointing, but go ahead and let them buy into that narrow-minded evaluation. -- Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM Fantasy expert
SOCIAL MEDIA: Find him on Facebook
2012 QUICK REVIEW
Regular Season ranking 32nd
Final Playoffs ranking
|Best finishes||2nd||British Open|
|By the Numbers
Cuts made: 15
Rounds played: 58
Top-10 finishes: 5
Money List rank: 25th
Driving distance: 10th
Driving accuracy: 123rd
Greens in regulation: 50th
Strokes gained-putting: 148th
Scoring average: 6th
NOW IT’S YOUR TURN What is your prediction for Adam Scott in 2013? Fill out the form below and let us know
PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: Best images from the HSBC Champions, Schwab Cup Championship
What is going in in this image from the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions? Leave your response below -- and please, keep it clean!
The top 30 in FedExCup points are headed to East Lake for the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola. Here’s a look at Adam Scott, one of the 30 players who will contend for the FedExCup title.
SCENARIOS TO WIN FEDEXCUP: For Scott to win the
FedExCup, he MUST win the TOUR Championship and have the following
scenarios fall into place:
> Rory McIlroy (No. 1) finishes 13th* or worse
> Tiger Woods (No. 2) finishes 5th or worse
> Nick Watney (No. 3) finishes in a 3-way tie for 3rd or worse
> Phil Mickelson (No. 4) finishes 3rd* or worse
> Brandt Snedeker (No. 5) finishes in 3-way tie for 2nd or worse
> Louis Oosthuizen (No. 6) finishes T-2 or worse
> *Tie for the FedExCup
Click here for scenarios of every player
SEASON IN REVIEW: Scott had an impressive run through the majors, finishing 15th or better in them all. His season will likely be remembered for his final-round swoon at the British Open, though, where he squandered a four-stroke lead on the final four holes and finished second. He seems to be peaking again in advance of the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola, posting consecutive top-10s, for the third time this year, in the Playoffs. -- Helen Ross
PATH TO TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP: Here’s a look at
Scott’s results in the first three events of the 2012
Click here for Playoffs Tracker of every player.
|FEC ranking after event||
PREVIOUS FEDEXCUP FINISHES: Here is how Scott has finished in previous Playoffs appearances:
EAST LAKE HISTORY: Scott won the final event at East Lake that was played in November. The next year, the FedExCup was born, and Scott hasn't been in the top five at East Lake since. He did tie for sixth at East Lake in 2011.
ALBERS’ QUICK TAKE: Fred Albers, on-course
correspondent for SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio, provides a quick look at
Seems like he hasn't played much golf this year but also seems like he's building momentum in the FedExCup Playoffs. Watch his putting stroke. It's all about rhythm. When Adam's stroke gets quick, he starts missing putts.
PLAYER PAGE: Click here for more on Adam Scott
Now it’s your turn. How do you think Scott will fare at the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola?
Adam Scott holes a 16-foot putt for birdie on the par-4 18th hole to shoot 66.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
CARMEL, Ind. -- Tee to green, Adam Scott has been extremely pleased.
His putter hasn't been very cooperative, though -- that is, until Saturday at Crooked Stick. Scott used just 25 putts in a round of 66 that vaulted him up the leaderboard into a tie for fifth, just two strokes off the lead.
"(My iron play has) been good all week and last week, and today is the first day that I've gotten any rhythm with the putter, and it took missing a few greens early on and I had to scramble to actually make some putts," Scott said. "But that was kind of a blessing in disguise, I think."
The Aussie really got untracked as he made the turn -- making a 9-footer at the ninth and a 16-footer at No. 12 while two-putting the two par-5s in between from 24 and 50 feet, respectively. Scott then made a 2-footer at the 15th hole before missing the green at the 17th on the way to his only bogey. But he got that shot back with a closing birdie to end 54 holes at 14 under.
"Obviously to have any chance to contend tomorrow I had to make some sort of a move, and it all kind of came together around the turn, and I played fairly solid," Scott said. "Disappointing to drop one coming in because I'm making a habit of that, but I picked one up on the last, and that was important."
Scott, who tied for seventh last week at the Deutsche Bank Championship, is looking for his first victory of the season. He's got some momentum, though, and he knows the third round leader has only gone on to win 13 of 38 events this year.
"I'm not in the best position, but coming from a few back seems to be the way to go at the moment in golf," he said. "You never know, if I can get off to a hot start and put myself in the mix, there are opportunities out there. We've seen a bunch of 64s made or even lower."
FARMINGDALE, N.Y. -- Not saying there's any correlation to the scores today, of course, but judging by their Twitter accounts it looks like Ian Poulter cooked dinner for Justin Rose and Adam Scott last night.
At 8:21 p.m. on Friday, Poulter tweeted (with the photo to the left): Spaghetti bolognaise is well under way for tonight's dinner. Even @JustinRose99 is coming over must smell good.
Saturday morning at 8:32, Rose countered with this tweet: Battle of the Bolognese today! Adam Scott, @IanJamesPoulter and myself had a good laugh last night. We're all are at -3. Who will fare best
Unfortunately, all three struggled Saturday. Scott shot 74 to move back to even par for the tournament while Poulter had a 76 and Rose shot 79.
The 2011 Bridgestone Invitational winner talks about his defense this week at Firestone.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
AKRON, Ohio -- After the way he handled Firestone a year ago, winning the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational by four shots, Adam Scott didn't really need any extra practice prior to his title defense.
So the Aussie decided to scoot down to Kiawah Island on the South Carolina coast and play the Ocean Course, which hosts the PGA Championship next week, for the first time.
"I'd only seen the pictures in magazines, which obviously are quite stunning,' Scott said. "It's two different nine holes. The front nine is a really nice, playable golf course, and then the back nine is not."
Scott says the Ocean Course reminds him of another Pete Dye creation -- the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass. While the lush, tree-lined, more traditional-style course he'll play at Firestone this week won't necessarily be good preparation, he does have history with Dye courses after winning THE PLAYERS Championship there in 2004.
"Kiawah reminds me of a lot of golf courses," Scott said.
"There's a lot of Sawgrass in there. It's a Pete Dye golf
course. He has his kind of signature stamps on his design. And I've
seen a lot of Sawgrass out there on some other courses.
"But no, it's different grass here and stuff, so this week is really not that much like Kiawah at all."
Scott said the final nine holes of the links layout are "very severe." With the location on the shores of the Atlantic, the winds and weather are sure to be a factor in the season’s final major.
"Look, it rained a lot while I was there the last two days, and it's playing very soft and very long," Scott said. "It's going to be very weather dependent. There's good scores out there in good weather, but if the wind blows, it's just going to be very difficult, even if they move tees forward and stuff like that.
"Green complexes are very severe on some holes, and it's just extreme penalty for a miss. There's water one side and big waste bunkers the other. It's certainly going to need some ball striking."
The pairings have been unveiled for this week’s PGA TOUR Matchups Game on Facebook. You can check out the Matchups for the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational below, or on the PGA TOUR’s Facebook page.
Participants have until 6 a.m. ET Thursday to make their picks. Log on to the PGA TOUR Facebook page and click the Matchups link to make your picks for this week, or to sign up.
|Tiger Woods vs. Adam Scott||The seven-time Firestone champ takes on last year's winner|
|Ernie Els vs. Keegan Bradley||Two major champs; Bradley tied for 15th in Firestone debut in 2011|
|Jason Dufner vs. Zach Johnson||These two technicians are sitting in third and second in FedExCup points|
|Justin Rose vs. Hunter Mahan||Mahan won here in 2010; Rose scored first WGC win this year at Doral|
|Rickie Fowler vs. Luke Donald||Donald seeks second WGC title; won Accenture Match Play in 2011|
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
BETHESDA, Md. -- What could have been for Adam Scott.
“You can argue my 3 over through three holes was due to my very brief warm-up on Thursday, and that might end up being the difference between winning and not this week,” the Aussie said.
Scott didn’t have a chance to warm up Thursday because he overslept and nearly missed his tee time. In fact, he was fortunate to make it all given how long it can take to get from Georgetown, where Scott was staying for the week, to Congressional.
“I only have myself to blame,” Scott added.
Sunday, it looked like he might not have anyone to blame. Scott birdied four straight holes on the front nine and went out in 31 and a share of the lead.
Back-to-back bogeys on the 14th and 15th, however, ended his chances.
The first came when Scott left a chip shot 11 feet short on the par-4 14th, then missed the par putt.
Scott’s fate was sealed on the next hole when he lagged from 64 feet to 5 feet and missed again.
“I just didn't hit good enough shots overall on the back nine,” Scott said. “Twelve through 16 was really scrappy golf, and I did well only to drop a couple shots. It was a little disappointing in that respect, but I got half of what I needed to do, and it's a work in progress. The story of my year; I need to try and play well for four days.”