Brand-new World No.1 and Australian Adam Scott defeated American Jason Dufner on the third playoff hole Sunday to win the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial Country Club in Ft. Worth, Texas. The Aussie stuffed his approach to the 18th hole to inside of 10 feet and his final stroke with his broom putter saw him claim victory on TOUR for the first time since The Barclays last August. Scott fired a final round four-under-par 66 to enter the playoff with Dufner on nine-under, 271. After matching pars and birdies on the first two holes the Aussie ball-striker did what he most famously does and secured his 27th victory worldwide in his career. American Nicholas Thompson and Sweden’s Freddie Jacobson rounded out the podium one shot out of the playoff.
Scott entered CPIC because he didn’t think his game needed to be where it should be as he assumed the No. 1 OWGR ranking. Well, if this is a tune-up, the rest of the TOUR could be in large trouble as the next three majors are approaching. Gamers, like me, who thought this week would be a nice dip into the shallow end of the pool to tinker with his game were sorely mistaken. That wasn’t what I felt on Thursday as he opened up with 71. Nor was I concerned after his 69 on Friday to make the cut by one shot. The weekend once again proved the form is temporary and class is permanent as Scott blistered Colonial for back-to-back 66s that included 11 birdies. His Sunday almost was derailed by a double bogey on No. 9 but that whole “class” thing reared its ugly head as Scott went home in 32 to join the playoff.
Not surprisingly throughout the week it was Scott’s ball-striking that gave him the chances to make birdie. His long putter held up his end of the bargain as well as he finished T17 in putts per GIR and T26 in strokes gained-putting as well. When Scott has all three of those facets firing he’s nearly unbeatable. Gamers will lament that they wish they had seen this triumvirate firing at API, Augusta and THE PLAYERS as Scott didn’t break par on Sunday in either of those three stops. I won’t remind gamers that he led by 3294923 shots on Sunday at Arnold’s place either as that would be cruel.
Moving forward, Scott has talked about embracing being the No. 1 player in the world and this week proved that actions do speak louder than words. For gamers with limited starts on the Aussie, they will be forced to pick and choose their spots to claim as many points and dollars as possible. The good news is when Scott plays like this, they can hardly go wrong. I’m going to stick to my plan with him and make sure he’s in the lineup in Akron and Boston and probably Pinehurst. That will leave me two other starts (The Open? The TOUR Championship?) where I’ll look to cash in.
He’s newly married. He’s newly No. 1 in the world. He’s newly a victor on TOUR. Too bad he doesn’t have winning good looks or a decent personality to go with it!
With his victory, Scott collects $1,152,000 and 500 FedExCup points. He has now won the Shell Houston Open (2007), the HPBNC (2008) and the Valero Texas Open (2010) to go along with his win at Colonial.
Good grief part II...
Déjà vu All Over Again?
After winning 31 of 40 tournaments in 2013, the USA has now won 21 of 28 events in 2013-14. Harris English, Jimmy Walker (THREE), Webb Simpson, Ryan Moore, Dustin Johnson, Chris Kirk, Zach Johnson, Patrick Reed (TWO), Scott Stallings, Kevin Stadler, Bubba Watson (TWO), Russell Henley, Chesson Hadley, Matt Every, Matt Kuchar, J.B. Holmes and Brendon Todd have won for the USA.
Adam Scott joins Matt Jones, Steven Bowditch, John Senden and Jason Day, all Australians, that have cashed five victories along with South Korean Seung-yul Noh and German Martin Kaymer. Freddie Jacobson tried to get another Euro in the fold this week but fell just short.
S.Y. Noh, Steven Bowditch, Matt Every, Jimmy Walker, Kevin Stadler, Chesson Hadley Matt Jones and Brendon Todd are the first-time winners this season. There were 12, first-timers in 40 events last year and we’ve had eight in 28 events so far in 2014.
Only 17 of the 38, 54-hole leaders went on to win last year in full-field, stroke play events. I’m always trying to figure out if this is a trend or not. In 2013-14, 15 of 27 leaders have gone on to win as the quartet of leaders all fell short this week.
Hideki Matsuyama tried to pull a “Sergio Garcia” by winning in his first attempt at Colonial. He didn’t.
Adam Scott joins Rory Sabbatini as the only two foreign-born players to win at Colonial in the last 10 years.
Since 2000, this was only the fourth edition of the Colonial that needed extra holes to determine the winner.
Scott is now the sixth consecutive victor to come from off the pace after 54 holes. Wow.
Ben Hogan, twice, remains the only player to defend his Colonial title. Boo Weekley made the cut but finished last.
This was the first non-double digit winning score since 1999 when Olin Browne won on eight-under 272.
Scott, as mentioned above, is the only player in the history of the TOUR to win all four events played in Texas during his career. #slam
Jimmy Walker, Patrick Reed and Bubba Watson remain the only players on TOUR with multiple wins this season.
Young Guns Versus Prime Time Versus Old Guys
Jimmy Walker (34) started the season out on the right foot for the Prime Time guys and has since added two more wins to lead the FedExCup standings. He has been joined by Ryan Moore (30) in Malaysia, Zach Johnson (37) at Kapalua, Kevin Stadler (33), at WMPO and Bubba Watson (35), joined them at Riviera. Matt Every (30), Steven Bowditch (30) and Matt Jones (33), all first-timers, flew the flag before Watson picked up victory No. 2 of the year at Augusta. Since the first major, Matt Kuchar (37), J.B. Holmes (32) and now Scott, 33, have also added to the Prime Timers.
Scott Stallings (28), Patrick Reed TWICE (23), Chris Kirk (28), Webb Simpson (28), Dustin Johnson (29), Harris English (24), Jason Day (26) and Russell Henley (24) Seung-Yul Noh (22), Martin Kaymer (29) plus Brendon Todd, 28, are the twenty-somethings who have made large noise this year.
Australian John Senden, 42, won at Tampa Bay for the only W for the “Old Guys” this season. David Toms, 47, led after 54-holes and finished T5. A very nice effort!