ADAM SCOTT would no doubt jump at the offer of only missing one short putt in a US PGA tournament week but maybe not the final hole when there are others snapping at your lead.
The hugely talented Australian has just done that at the Texas Open but his final hole bogey hasn’t stopped his first win on the US tour for two years.
His sizzling final round 67 at the San Antonio TPC has seen him finish at 14 under 274, one stroke ahead of Swede Fredrik Jacobson and two ahead of a very welcome comeback by fellow Aussie Aaron Baddeley.
Two years ago when Scott won the Byron Nelson Championship he was riding high at World No 3.
He has since slipped 40 places, you would have to say largely on the back of his flaky ability with the short putting.
Even last year on his way to winning the 2009 Australian Open in Sydney there were some missed short attempts in the final round that had his fans twitching nervously.
In fact, it was only after another poor putting performance that saw Scott miss the cut in Charlotte two weeks ago that he decided on a late entry in Texas.
Scott has credited an on the fly putting lesson from former pro Dave Stockton for turning his fortunes around.
“I was really struggling with my putting and that was bleeding into the rest of the game,” Scott said after what was his 16th professional victory and seventh on the US PGA Tour.
“It was a timely meeting with Stockton a couple of weeks ago. He said he could fix me in a couple of minutes and he was right.”
Scott putted solidly at the Players Championship last week and then put the whole package together in Texas on a marathon 36-hole Sunday after a rain affected tournament.
Scott admitted the missed putt on the 18th was “a bit of a disaster” but was more than happy with the rest of the day.
“It wasn’t the greatest finish but I played really well considering I was one under after three holes this morning.
“It’s really good with the putter the last two weeks. It’s nice to see putts going in and it makes golf a lot more fun.
“When you get hot, sometimes its good to play 36 (holes). You want to keep going and going. I got in the rhythm out there and they all started going in.”
Scott’s final hole miss turned out not to matter when Jacobson subsequently missed a birdie putt from five metres.
It was also a welcome return to form for Baddeley, who has been talking up his prospects since reuniting with boyhood coach Dale Lynch more than a month ago.
Baddeley recovered from an opening round 75, coming home with rounds of 66, 67 and 68. He tied for third with American Jimmy Walker and the resurgent Ernie Els.
Scott and Baddeley, both 29, have both threatened to do big things in the golfing world since bursting onto the professional scene over a decade ago.
Whilst it has often been the putting with Scott, Baddeley has struggled at times with the long game.
With three majors coming up between June and August in the northern summer, let’s hope it is not too late for either to make a big splash.