A New Day
It has been quite a three week stretch of golf for 32 year old Australian superstar, Adam Scott.
Two weeks ago he was triumphant at the Australian PGA Championship and then followed that up with a win at The Australian Masters. He has a chance to win the Aussie “Triple Crown” at next week’s Australian Open, a feat only done once before by Robert Allenby, who won all three of Australia’s most important tournaments in 2005.
This week Scott was to be a member of a winning team. Representing Australia with fellow superstar, Jason Day, and once again playing on the storied links of Royal Melbourne (universally acclaimed as one of the of world’s 5 best golf courses). The dynamic duo from Down Under would not be denied on their home turf, and became the first Australians’ to capture the global team Cup in 24 years.
The ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf brings players in teams of two from all over the world to compete for their country. Both players’ scores count on each of the four days of competition. A series of world-wide qualifying events trim the field down to 30 teams. It is a pressure cooker for the players, because rather than being a four-ball event (like the Ryder Cup) where you just take the best ball each hole, in the World Cup, each and every shot counts.
This did not bode well for World #2 and in-form Scott, when he made a disastrous quintuple (yup 5-over par for one hole) 9, on his ninth hole in his first round. Such is the composure and confidence of Scott however, he rallied to finish with a 3-over par 74 and then his three superb closing rounds of 67, 67 and a closing 65 helped seal the deal for the Aussies.
The Australian duo was led this week by the up and coming phenom, Day. Tragically Day had lost eight members of his family in the devastation that was the Typhoon Haiyan, the week before. “I found out last week that we lost some family members over in the Philippines and to have my mum here over the weekend, even to have my sisters and my nephew, to be here to be as a family knowing that I can hold them is very special to me,” Day said. Amongst those lost were Day’s Grandmother and six children.
“It would have been the easiest thing for me to just go ahead and pull out of the tournament with what has been going on over the last week. But I really wanted to come down here and play with Adam and really try and win the World Cup.”
Day would win the individual honors with a 4 day score of 10-under par to best ageless Danish star, Thomas Bjorn, by two with Scott a further shot back at 7-under for the tournament. Day’s 10 under and Scott’s 7-under cumulative totals left them at 17-under par and 10 shots clear of the American team of Matt Kuchar and Kevin Streelman.
Amazingly, Day’s last victory came at the Byron Nelson Championship on the PGA Tour in 2010. In the meantime however, he has finished runner-up three times in Major Championships and owns a host of high finishes in the biggest of tournaments. Day seems to be able to elevate an already sky-high game for the largest events and the hardest courses which is a universal trait that all of the game’s greatest players have had in common.
One gets the feeling that when he breaks through for that first Major Championship, it will be opening up the floodgates and this extraordinary talent will rise to great heights.