Scott seeking Royal redemption at Aus PGA

Scott seeking Royal redemption at Aus PGA

Adam Scott can wipe the slate clean of a junior defeat more than 30 years ago with a crowning Fortinet Australian PGA Championship title at Royal Queensland Golf Club starting Thursday.

A two-time Australian PGA champion who adorns the RQ honour boards as a two-time junior champion, Scott was reminded during Wednesday’s pro-am that he didn’t always have things his own way.

While growing up on the Gold Coast, Scott first joined Royal Queensland as an 11-year-old in awe of resident Professional, Charlie Earp.

A year later he competed in the club’s junior championship against boys as much as five years his senior, his conqueror taking a rare opportunity to remind him ahead of his 16th Australian PGA Championship.

“I bumped into one of the guys I played on the junior team with and he reminded me that I lost the junior club championship to him,” Scott recalled.

“I said, ‘But I was 12.’ He was a bit older than me.”

Scott’s first Australian PGA Championship as a pro came in 2000 where he finished fifth behind Robert Allenby at Royal Queensland.

The champion in 2013 and 2019, Scott returns to Royal Queensland with new clubs in the bag – PING Blueprint S irons – and a switch in golf ball from a Titleist ProV1x to the ProV1.

They are changes he has made to keep pace with the modern game and, with a 19-under par total and tie for fifth last start at the Butterfield Bermuda Championship, changes he has faith in now that he is back on home soil.

“It all feels pretty good,” Scott insisted.

“But also trying to make sense of a few changes that I’m making and get a good feel for it.

“I think the best way to do that is to test it in tournaments. Hopefully they’re fairly educated guesses of what’s good for me in the bag.

“It’s not a Hail Mary that I’m going out there with. I shot 19-under with that setup a couple of weeks ago, so yeah, it would be good to test it in slightly different conditions down here.”

A decade since Scott came within a whisker of completing the Australian Triple Crown in the same year that he became the first Australian to win The Masters, the 43-year-old knows the feeling of confidence that only comes with winning.

Adamant he is not home to play second fiddle to the likes of Cam Smith, Min Woo Lee and Scottish Ryder Cup star Robert MacIntyre, Scott wants to break a winless streak now stretching back to February 2020.

“What winning does for the confidence can’t be replaced by anything else,” Scott said.

“It’s nice to play well in Bermuda, but it’s not a win. It’s hard to fake that confidence of what a win does, of closing out a tournament, of beating the entire field.

“If I were to win this week or next, I’d feel like that could be a real springboard into next year.

“It’s happened before, not just with me, but I’ve seen it with other players as well and I think all the players who are playing on other tours and heading back out next year would feel the same.

“But I’m really not going to get the same confidence from just contending and playing well.

“Taking a trophy home is a different deal.”