Scott keeps major streak alive
Qualifies for 2018 U.S. Open after rounds of 66 and 72 in Columbus, Ohio
June 05, 2018
By Ben Everill, PGATOUR.COM
- Adam Scott has played in 67 consecutive major championships entering next week at Shinnecock. (Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Adam Scott pounded the scoring desk hard at the Memorial Tournament Presented by Nationwide on Sunday in frustration after a deflating final round.
The 13-time PGA TOUR winner had posted a 1-over 73 to drop from T11 to T35, significant because a good finish could have boosted his world ranking high enough to secure a start at the upcoming U.S. Open at Shinnecock.
Scott has played the last 67 major championships in a row, second only to Sergio Garcia’s 75, but the streak was in jeopardy.
He had a decision to make. Play 36 holes of U.S. Open sectional qualifying in Columbus or go straight to Memphis and prepare to play the FedEx St. Jude Classic in a last ditch bid to improve his world ranking from 64th to inside the top 60.
Once his anger subsided he chose Columbus.
And it paid off.
Despite some nervous moments down the stretch the 2013 Masters champion shot a 6-under 66 at the tougher Brookside Golf & Country Club and then held on with an even-par 72 at the Lakes Golf and Country Club to be one of 14 qualifiers.
“I am pumped. It has been an epic day. I haven’t played one of these in a long time but I really did enjoy playing today,” Scott said when a two-putt par from 30 feet on his final hole was enough to squeak in.
“It’s a nice streak to keep going but it will be better if I win the U.S. Open. I am playing all these majors to win them not just to show up, so I’d like to make the most of this opportunity.
“Today was a bit of a grind but somehow I’ve snuck through. The form has been coming around, so if I can have a nice week this week preparing and get myself in shape, I am really looking forward to Shinnecock – it is one of my favorite venues so I am really happy to be there.”
Having not played in a qualifier for so long that he couldn’t remember even doing so, it was a big fall from grace for Scott.
He was paired with two amateurs, a financial planner and a college player from the University of South Florida. Both asked for photos at the conclusion of play.
Instead of being annoyed, Scott embraced the entire process.
“It’s not a kick in the butt - it’s the realities of it,” he said.
“I haven’t played well enough for 12 months. It is relative, isn’t it? I’m 64th in the world and it is over for me if you ask some people.
“But if you look at my last four weeks I’ve probably shot more rounds in the 60s then I probably have in the last 12 months. There is definitely something going on in the right direction.
“I’m not a favorite at Shinnecock but I have the ability to put my game in shape to contend there next week. I have been wanting to play it badly so I am relieved I can now.”
Scott wasn’t the only major champion to book his ticket through the Columbus qualifier where 120 players chased 14 spots.
Keegan Bradley, the 2011 PGA Championship winner, finished 8 under to tie for third.
“It’s humbling to come out here,” Bradley, who has played in the last six U.S. Opens and 23 majors overall, said.
“It reminded me of TOUR school. There’s no joy.”
But there was joy for him in the end.
Ireland’s Shane Lowry shared medalist honors at 9 under with South Korean Sungjae Im, who currently leads the Web.com Tour money list.
Lowry finished T2 at Oakmont in the 2016 U.S. Open.
Brian Gay joined Bradley at 8 under.
Michael Putnam rebounded from a 73 at Brookside with a blistering 64 at Lakes to join India’s Shubhankar Sharma, Scotland’s Russell Knox and fellow Americans Patrick Rodgers and William Zalatoris at 7 under.
Joining Scott at 6 under were Scottish amateur Ryan Lumsden, Americans Harold Varner III and Ollie Schniederjans and Australian compatriot Aaron Baddeley.
AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am winner Ted Potter Jr. won a nine-man playoff for the first alternate position.