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Scott working when he’s not playing PDF Print E-mail
Monday, June 10, 2013 9:52 PM

The Associated Press

 

ARDMORE, Pa. — Don’t let the location fool you. Adam Scott spends a lot of time in the Bahamas, which is where he does most of his work.

Scott has spent part of his time in the Bahamas the past couple of years, practicing and playing out of Albany Golf Club. The practice is important because Scott has limited his schedule in recent years; the key to that is being ready to compete when he does play on tour.

“There are times when practice is a couple of hours a day,” Scott said. “And then there are times, like last week, where good preparation and good practice is four to five hours a day.

“I like that kind of number because that’s about the amount of time that I try to concentrate playing a round on tour. It’s not just random. I think the amount of things I do randomly with golf is very few. Most of it is planned and purposeful.”

He said practicing between four and five hours is the right amount of time to get quality work and keep his focus, as he would in a round of golf.

Scott noted the new balance of limited tournaments and more practice to keep sharp has made him a better player. He wasn’t the first to think of this.

“It’s no secret,” Scott explained. “Tiger (Woods) doesn’t play much and he plays well all the time. (Greg) Norman played a really limited schedule and he was a dominant player for a long time. It depends on what you do when you’re not playing. It’s not sitting at home on the couch. It’s doing something that’s making you better.”

But what about the rest of his time in the Bahamas? Go to the beach. Fishing?

“I go to the gym,” Scott replied.

And after the gym?

“Then I sit on the couch,” he added with a smile.

THE HANDSHAKE: In what was talked about Monday as “The Handshake,” Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia finally saw each other on the practice range for the first time since Garcia jokingly said last month he would have Woods over for dinner during the U.S. Open and “we will serve fried chicken.”

They shook hands on the range, a moment captured by a fan who posted it to his Twitter account.

Woods and Garcia had been going at it since the third round of The Players Championship, a feud that began when Garcia suggested Woods should have been paying attention when taking a club from the bag, which caused the gallery to cheer as Garcia was about to play his shot.

They traded bards for the next few weeks through the media, which led to Garcia’s remark May 22 at a European Tour awards dinner in England.

Both are scheduled to have news conferences today.

ALTERNATES: Former Masters champion Mike Weir has done just enough at qualifying to earn a spot at the U.S. Open.

Weir got one of six spots that had been set aside to accommodate anyone who moved into the top 60 in the world ranking published Monday. Kyle Stanley, who finished third at the Memorial, was at No. 60. He was the only one who qualified from the latest world ranking.

After that, five players who were alternates at the 36-hole sectional qualifying spots filled the 156-man field.

Weir lost in a playoff at the main Ohio qualifier and was first alternate. Also getting into the U.S. Open as a qualifying alternate were Ryan Palmer, Ryan Yip, Rikard Karlberg and Harold Varner III.

The next two alternates for the U.S. Open are Jesse Schutte, followed by T.J. Vogel.

THE HOGAN PLAQUE: Most players have stopped in the 18th fairway at Merion to see the plaque that commemorates where Ben Hogan hit 1-iron into the green in the final round of the 1950 U.S. Open. It led to par to get him into a 3-man playoff that he won the next day.

That’s a moment that won’t be duplicated this week.

For one thing, that distance (214 yards) is more like a 4-iron or 5-iron for the modern player.

Plus, no one carries a 1-iron.

Jason Day has one in the bag, though it’s stamped as a 2-iron. He had his equipment company bend the loft of the club so that it works like a 1-iron. Day has had it in play the past few tournaments. He’s not sure if he will use it at Merion, saying it’s mostly for the British Open at Muirfield.

He dropped a ball by the plaque during a practice round Sunday but this was no time for his new clubs. Day hit 4-iron, instead.

ADAM’S LOW PROFILE: Except for the biggest stars, most players win a major and hit the talk-show circuit. Scott kept it simple after winning The Masters. He made one appearance on an American TV show, one for his native Australia.

“I felt they were important for me to do,” Scott said. “I feel I’ve been welcomed in the States and really supported and I also wanted to show my appreciation for everyone in America, as well, because I’m really lucky how much support I get out here. I really enjoy playing in front of everyone. But I felt that’s all I needed to do. I try and entertain people on the golf course, not on talk shows.”

RAIN CAUSING PROBLEMS: The most popular equipment Merion was not a golf club but a squeegee.

More heavy rain at the U.S. Open flooded a bunker by the 11th green and filled fairways with large puddles and a tiny stream. The course was closed for four hours during the first full day of practice and then shut down for good later in the afternoon.

Brandt Jobe played three holes when he heard a horn to stop play. Jim Herman managed to play one hole. Practice rounds are important because only a dozen or so players have ever seen this 100-year-old course, which has not hosted a U.S. Open in 32 years.

Workers were busy running squeegees across the greens and fairways during the afternoon before another downpour arrived.

“After the rain this morning, it’s going to be very sloppy now,” Ernie Els said. “You’re not going to see a firm U.S. Open this year, I’m sorry. I don’t care if they get helicopters flying over the fairways; it’s not going to dry up. We’re going to have a soft golf course this week — all week.”

The forecast was for mostly dry conditions today and Wednesday, followed by a 40-percent chance of rain on Thursday for the opening round.

Merion received more than 3 inches of rain on Friday and Monday’s downpours — three of them — didn’t help. The low point on the East course is the 11th hole and a bunker was filled with water from an overflowing stream.

Course superintendent Matt Shaffer said the base sand was left alone. Workers removed the silt and put about three tons of new sand in the bunker, tamped it down and “we were ready to go.”

For now, officials were hopeful.

Shaffer said Merion has had two big rains and both times, the 11th green has stayed above water. And while there were tiny streams running through fairways and large pools of water on sections of the greens, the water appeared to drain quickly.

“This golf course is not built on sand, so it’s got the heavier soils,” USGA executive director Mike Davis explained. “But it is maybe the best draining golf course I have ever seen. If you walk this course, you know there’s hardly any flat lies at Merion.”

Merion is 6,996 yards on the scorecard, the shortest U.S. Open course since Shinnecock Hills in 2004. The rough is thicker than usual compared with most recent U.S. Opens, though soft greens are a recipe for low scoring no matter the golf course.

Congressional was softened significantly by rain and Rory McIlroy shattered the scoring record at 16-under 268 for an 8-shot win. As for the week, it rained so much at Bethpage Black in 2002 that the tournament barely finished 72 holes on Monday, with Lucas Glover winning.

Els mentioned the firm fairways because that’s what can make Merion tricky. Woods, Scott and McIlroy were among those who came to Merion early and all spoke about the experience necessary to find the right angle off the tee to keep the ball in the fairway. Geoff Ogilvy played Sunday for the first time and mentioned the best driver would fare well — but not necessarily the straightest driver.

With soft fairways, it becomes more of a target.

“Obviously with it being a little soft, it becomes a little more simple than what it was,” Scott added. “The ball is just going to stop where it lands.”

Davis added the USGA would try to move the hole locations to some of the higher spots on the greens to avoid standing water if it rains on Thursday. As for the fairways, even with standing water, the U.S. Open could be played as long as players could move the ball to a dry spot that didn’t add significant distance to their shots.

The next two days could be crucial.

“We just need a little bit of sunshine,” Shaffer added.

3M CHAMPIONSHIP SET FOR HISTORIC DAY

BLAINE, Minn. — The 3M Championship is not just about the men this year.

Three of the top women’s golfers in history are scheduled to play in an event that’s part of the Champions Tour stop at the TPC Twin Cities July 29-Aug. 4.

Annika Sorenstam, Nancy Lopez and Pat Bradley will comprise the first women’s team in the Greats of Golf Challenge associated with the event.

“We always try to do new and different things,” Hollis Cavner, the tournament’s executive director, explained in making the announcement Monday. “Annika is excited to come here, Nancy is working on her game and Pat is just thrilled. We think Saturday will be a special deal.”

Sorenstam won 72 LPGA tournaments, including 10 majors; Lopez has 48 career LPGA wins, including three majors; and Bradley has won 31 LPGA events, including six majors.

The women will compete on Aug. 3 against a pair of men’s teams. One will be comprised of Lee Trevino, David Graham and Bill Rodgers and the other will be Johnny Miller, Dave Stockton and a player Cavner said is “somebody that everybody’s going to love.” Arnold Palmer is scheduled to captain the women’s team while Billy Casper and Don January will serve as men’s team captains.

Cavner said 28 of the top 30 Champions Tour players are scheduled to participate in the tournament, including Minnesota native Tom Lehman. However, defending champion Bernhard Langer will miss the tournament due to a business commitment in Europe. Among the scheduled first-time players are Colin Montgomerie, Rocco Mediate and Steve Elkington.

Admission to the tournament will again be free.

“We want to grow the game and have a lot of fun with it,” Cavner added.

Last Updated on Monday, June 10, 2013 10:17 PM
 

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