ADAM Scott hates feeling like Mr Average on the golf course and insists birdies and babies can mix for a return to the top of world golf.
A big showing at the Australian PGA, starting at Royal Pines on Thursday, would fire the ideal flare to show fans worldwide he’s ready to start climbing from his lowest world ranking position (No.31) since 2010.
He’s going to do it with a return to the long putter because the record putting stats of Bernard Langer and Scott McCarron on the Champions Tour in the US have swayed him to use a non-anchoring technique with the wand a centimetre or two off his chest.
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The August birth of his second child Byron, named after golfing legend Byron Nelson, will always mark this as a great year for Scott but the trade-off was less practice time biting him.
In Scott’s typical glass-half-full way, seeing his results eroded in a winless year have alerted him to exactly what he needs to fix to duel on equal footing again with Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy and new young guns like Justin Thomas.
“It’s very hard not to get frustrated because I just can’t handle the average stuff,” Scott said of 2017.
“My ball striking really suffered this year through lack of practice and when your strength weakens, it doesn’t have great results.
“Someone told me I had nine top 15s but that doesn’t get you very far.
“My scoring average was 69 point something but consistent play just doesn’t add up to a lot if you’re not throwing in the low rounds and doing it at the right time.”
Most golfers would love an average Scott year and the $ 2.2 million in prizemoney it came with but the popular Queenslander is yearning for a better balance next year so he can get back to where a former world No.1 belongs.
More practice at his Bahamas base and a return to his majors routine of tuning up, rather than playing, the week before the biggest four weeks of 2018 is part of the blueprint.
“There isn’t dominance at the moment (at world No.1) with different guys up there playing great golf and the door is definitely open to be one of them,” Scott said.
“Physically and everything else, I think there’s nothing stopping me getting back to the top.
“I want to be with my family as much as I possibly can and spend time with the kids but I also know what it takes for me to play really good golf.
“It’s going to be finding the peace between that battle of where I put my priorities.”
Kids Byron and Bo, 2, normally shatter the morning calm at around 5am so Scott still had to set an ungodly 3.30am alarm for Thursday’s early 6.10am opening round with Spanish drawcard Sergio Garcia on the Gold Coast.
Scott said he was delighted with the condition of the course he has seen mature since the drastic changes of 2014’s redesign.
He must always be rated a huge chance of winning at Royal Pines where he has been in the hunt in 2013 (win), 2014 (losing playoff) and 2016 (third) because he can savage the four par fives to set up his scoring.
Scott discarded his broomstick putter for a short putter in 2015, before the anchoring ban, because it was misbehaving. There’ll be golf judges pondering just what is going on with yet another switch of putter and technique but Scott won’t be one of them.
“It just doesn’t feel much different at all whether it’s anchored to the body or not,” Scott said of taking on Langer’s style that dominates in the over-50s.
“I mean, it’s doing the same thing it feels like to me. It feels very solid. It’s just like when you pick up a new putter and you just hole putts, that’s what it feels like.”
If the putts do start to drop for Scott, he’ll be a former world No.31 in no time.