THE PLAYERS 2004: Adam Scott
Patience had served Adam Scott well. Seemingly prepared for the PGA TOUR, in his early 20s the Aussie opted for a few seasons to hone his game globally.
Hard to argue with that plan when at age 23 he won soon after arriving on the PGA TOUR and then the very next spring, 2004, he got into the lead at THE PLAYERS Championship.
But inexplicably, Scott shifted. With a two-stroke lead over Padraig Harrington while playing the 72nd hole at THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass, Scott suddenly was in a hurry.
“Cruising,” he said to himself as he studied his second shot into the 18th green. Anything on or around the green would mean no worse than bogey. Instead, he went dead left, nowhere near the green and double bogey was in view.
“That shot was never going anywhere but in the water,” Scott said.
So much had changed in this showcase of excellence which was seven years older than Scott. From a purse of $250,000 and different homes in the early days, it was now $8 million and for a 23rd year was played at THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass, a shrine to golf fans.
But what was still the same were the nerves it took to compete in such a theater. So Scott took a deep breath and said to his caddie, “a chip and a putt and we’re done.”
He was right, too. A wedge to 10 feet set up his putt for 70 and 12-under 276, good for a one-stroke win. The youngest winner of THE PLAYERS, Scott did it in his debut, no less.
So much for patience.