Scott back in PGA TOUR win column
Survives difficult final day at The Genesis Invitational
February 17, 2020
By Cameron Morfit, PGATOUR.COM
Adam Scott's winning highlights from The Genesis Invitational
Three PGA TOUR veterans go into the final round with a share of the lead, but only one, Adam Scott (70), manages to shoot an under-par round as he salts away his 14th TOUR win by two over Matt Kuchar (72), Scott Brown (68) and Sung Kang (69) at The Genesis Invitational. In the process, the 39-year-old Scott shoots from 108th to 16th in the FedExCup. He also becomes the third Australian winner (Cameron Smith, Marc Leishman) in the last six weeks on TOUR, and moves into a tie for third behind only Greg Norman (20) and Jim Ferrier (18) on the list of most career wins by an Australian.
Welcome to the Monday Finish.
THREE KEYS TO SUCCESS
1. He minimized the damage. Scott and Rory McIlroy, one of his two fellow 54-hole co-leaders (Matt Kuchar), did not distinguish themselves at the par-4 fifth hole. They both missed the fairway off the tee, both hit fliers over the green, and both failed to get their third shots up and over the hill, which meant suffering the indignity of their golf balls briefly pausing before rolling back down the hill toward their feet. They played the fifth in a combined 5 over par. The big difference, though, was that McIlroy missed his double-bogey putt from inside three feet, while Scott limited the damage to a 6 and birdied the next hole. McIlroy bogeyed it. Strange fact: Scott made a third-round quadruple-bogey and won The Honda Classic in 2016, and now has four wins with a double or worse in the final round, trailing only Tiger Woods (7) and Phil Mickelson (5).
2. He capitalized on Aussie momentum. Cameron Smith won the Sony Open in Hawaii, and Marc Leishman prevailed at the Farmers Insurance Open. They were teammates of Scott’s at the recent Presidents Cup in Melbourne, where the U.S. Team stormed from behind to win after trailing all week. They decided then and there to use the gut-wrenching loss as motivation to toughen-up for the important 2020 TOUR season ahead. “I’ve seen it before with some guys off the back of an incredible Presidents Cup experience,” Scott said, “where there’s pressure out on the golf course and guys really learning and elevating their games and then putting that into practice the next time they’re in a pressure situation.” For more on how Scott, Smith and Leishman capitalized on the Presidents Cup and were fueled by the successes of one another, click here.
3. He saved the best for last. Through three rounds, Scott was in negative numbers in Strokes Gained: Putting (-0.41). You wouldn’t have known that Sunday, though. On a day that was so difficult there wasn’t a single bogey-free round, Scott made over 109 feet of putts and suddenly outperformed the field by 2.03 strokes on the greens. “The putting has always been something that’s temperamental with me, certainly mentally,” he said. “But I think I’ve found what works for me in the way that I practice my putting, and also in the type of putter that I’m using.”
Adam Scott news conference after winning Genesis
McIlroy is still hot. The bad news was he didn’t win. The good news was that Rory McIlroy, in his first start after being reinstalled as world No. 1, notched his fourth straight top-five finish on TOUR and must be considered one of the favorites at this week’s World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship. At The Genesis Invitational, which was in its first week as an elevated event, he was thwarted only by a shocking 4-over stretch at the fifth and sixth holes (triple-bogey, bogey). “Yeah, I caught it a little thin, so it came out a bit lower than I wanted it to,” McIlroy said of his third shot from behind the green at the fifth, which failed to climb the hill and came back toward him. He flopped his fourth onto the green but far from the pin, and three-putted. “Actually, apart from that, played pretty well,” McIlroy said. “Played the other holes in 1 under. So it was tough. Yeah, honestly, I didn’t expect it to be as difficult as it was, but everyone was finding it tough out there. Adam hung on well at the end.”
“I’ve loved this place since day one.” – two-time Genesis Invitational winner Adam Scott (70), who broke a winless drought of 74 starts since his two-win season in 2016
“Definitely the toughest day of the week.” – Rory McIlroy (73, T5) on the wind and hole locations, after his fourth top-20 finish in as many starts at this event
“I didn’t have my best stuff.” – Matt Kuchar (72, T2), who held the 54-hole lead/co-lead for the 10th time on TOUR but remained at four wins in those events
The Wyndham Rewards Top 10 is a season-long competition that offers a $10 million bonus for the 10 golfers who end the regular season at the Wyndham Championship inside the top 10 in FedExCup points. The player atop the standings will earn $2 million, with varying payoffs for the others through $500,000 for the 10th place finisher.
There were no changes in the top four after The Genesis Invitational, with Justin Thomas still in pole position. Rory McIlroy (T5) moved from sixth to fifth, while Hideki Matsuyama (T5) was the biggest mover after a 64-69 weekend launched him onto the first page of the leaderboard at Riviera and from 15th all the way to seventh in the Wyndham Rewards Top 10.
Here’s how the standings look heading into this week’s World Golf Championships – Mexico Championship.
THIS WEEK LAST WEEK PLAYER 1. 1. Justin Thomas 2. 2.
Webb Simpson 3. 3.
4. 4. Lanto Griffin 5.
6. Rory McIlroy
6. 5. Sebastian Muñoz
7. 15. Hideki Matsuyama
8. 9. Marc Leishman
9. 7. Cameron Smith
10. 8. Sungjae Im