Adam Scott is in contention once again at The Open Championship. There’s one major difference this year, though. He arrived at Muirfield as a major champion, having already claimed this year’s Masters. That victory may make Sunday’s task easier for the Australian. Scott is at even-par 213, three shots behind Lee Westwood.
“It's a good feeling to sit here in this position, absolutely,” Scott said after his third-round 70. “It's completely different. I think I go out there tomorrow not carrying the weight of the lead or not having won a major. So it's a different feeling. Hopefully I can play enough quality shots to give myself chances to be in the hunt right at the end.”
Scott made three birdies and just two bogeys Saturday. He was runner-up in last year’s Open Championship after making bogey on the final four holes to finish one shot behind Ernie Els. Scott said he hasn’t lingered on last year’s defeat.
“I think honestly I haven't flashed back (to the Open) since Akron last year,” Scott said. “I haven't thought about the entirety of it at all. I thought it's best not to. Just take the couple of bits that I wanted to and leave it as an experience. And the way I remember it is only as a great week.”
Scott hadn’t finished better than 13th in four starts between the Masters and Open Championship, including a 45th-place finish at the U.S. Open. “Well, I'm satisfied with how I'm playing this week,” he said. “The last few events I haven't really played that hot. So it's nice to put myself back in this position. I worked hard over the last couple of weeks since AT&T. So I'm happy that I'm sitting here and I'm going to have a chance to play a good round tomorrow.”
Now Scott is trying to join a select group of players who have won the Masters and Open Championship in the same season. A player has won those events in the same season eight times: Ben Hogan (1953), Arnold Palmer (1962), Jack Nicklaus (1966), Gary Player (1974), Tom Watson (1977), Nick Faldo (1990), Mark O’Meara (1998) and Tiger Woods (2005).
“I've got, nothing really to lose tomorrow and majors to gain,” Scott said. “So that's certainly a nice feeling, whereas before in some ways it was getting to the point where you're hoping it was going to happen tomorrow. It is absolutely a weight off your shoulders to have the first one.”