ONCE AGAIN Adam Scott was leading on the back nine of a British Open with just a handful of holes to go, only to have his hopes dashed by a string of bogies.
This time, with the 2013 US Masters in the cabinet and the experience of losing to Ernie Els last year at Royal Lytham under his belt, it looked like it was all going to come together.
But as the 33 Aussie admitted afterwards: “I let a great chance slip.”
After a slow start, including two bogeys, Scott birdied 7, 8 and 9 as early leaders Lee Westwood and Henrik Stenson fell back to the pack.
When Scott birdied 11 he walked to the 12th tee at 2-under in the outright lead.
Unfortunately, four straight birdies followed from 13 to 16 as Phil Mickelson made his magical, winning charge.
An obviously dejected Scott, but one still looking for positives, gave this post round interview:
Q. That last [birdie] putt on 18 was certainly a nice one, moved you right up the leaderboard.
ADAM SCOTT: (Laughing) Right up there, where I wanted to be.
Q. Not far enough?
ADAM SCOTT: No, not quite. I let a great chance slip, I felt, during the middle of the round and that’s disappointing. I’m happy I put myself in chance to — my game is in great shape, that’s the good thing to take from it. But I didn’t get to the number that Phil finished on, but I was right there. Had I played a little more solid in the middle of that back nine, I could have had a chance coming in.
Q. Is it a little less disappointing because Phil shot 32 on the back nine.
ADAM SCOTT: No, it’s relative, isn’t it? He had to shoot 32. Well, he didn’t in the end, but he felt he had to, because there was a bunch of us at about 2-under. And I think the disappointing thing is this one I felt a wasted a little bit. I would have liked to be in at the end and no one was, actually. It’s a shame. But the game is there. I’m going to look forward to keeping it sharp next week and going to the World Golf Championship and another Major in the next couple of weeks. I like where I’m at.
Q. How much were you watching –
ADAM SCOTT: I don’t know. The boards weren’t working really very good. I had a look a couple of times, but they didn’t really seem to make so much sense. I wasn’t sure if they had it right. Phil kept moving up.
Q. Did you have a number in mind?
ADAM SCOTT: No, when we were on the 6th hole I thought even par was going to win the thing, so fire off. You can never put that in your mind. You can only just play the best you can and all of a sudden I was a couple under after 12, I think, and even was out the window, as well. It’s just tough going out there, you just can’t make too many errors, and I made a couple on the green on 14 and 15, bad ones.
Q. After the 6th hole you were a couple over. Then you had a couple of birdies (inaudible.)
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, like I said, it was a little tricky to — I wasn’t watching the boards so much, and I didn’t really know what exactly was going on. But I knew that the way I was going wasn’t going to be any good. But I was playing fine. And I hadn’t got off to a good start any day out here. I just had to keep hitting good shots and being patient. And the putter was feeling pretty good, to be fair today, at that point, anyway. And then rolled a few in and got the momentum going, but just kind of lost it a bit there on 13, aimed the putt a bit further right than I should have and missed. And then obviously made a bad error on the read on 14 from the back right.
Q. As you were walking up 18 it seemed like you had a little chat with Tiger, was it just generic stuff?
ADAM SCOTT: It was just generic stuff. I think we both just kind of were disappointed with our performance today, to be honest. And shrugging it off.
Q. Overall assessment of your week?
ADAM SCOTT: I’m happy with my week, other than I didn’t win. But I lived up to my expectations of putting myself in contention with a chance. And it will just have to go down in the experience book and something to build on again.
ADAM SCOTT: Well, it’s hard. Did anyone else do it today? (Laughing). One guy did it? It’s very hard, especially when you’re trying to win an Open. But we know that he goes for broke, and if that’s how he was feeling and pulling it off, he’s got the ability to do that. And he’s gone and won an Open easily, it looks like now. So every credit to him.
Q. Another Major where you have another strong result. May not be the result you’re after, but obviously contending. Do you feel like you’re close to those floodgates? You’re there again, it must be very close again?
ADAM SCOTT: Well, a few in a row sounds good (laughter). I’d like to get another one to start with. No, look, I like where my game’s at. Again, you know, up there, contending for most of the week. That’s where I want to be. That’s where I’ve got to keep myself. And, yeah, I believe I can win another one soon. If it wasn’t this week, hopefully I’ll do the same stuff at the PGA, and I can put my foot down there on the back nine and run away with it.
Q. Could you run us through the emotions of 13 and 16. What is going through your head?
ADAM SCOTT: Well, I think I was just trying to compose myself by 15, after a couple of bogeys it can happen out there. You’ve got to just shake that off. But really overthought everything on 15, and had to back off a putt there, mid-stroke. And just kind of threw my rhythm. And saw Tiger run it way by and had fast in mind, and I dolleyed it down there short, and then poor alignment on the next putt, I think. I aimed it too far right and missed. And at that point, after that one, it was deflation, really, because I could see the scoreboard and your chances at dashed. You’re going to have to finish birdie, eagle, birdie, at that point. Yeah, after 16 I just wanted to stop making bogeys, to be honest with you.
Q. You mentioned playing with Tiger, and what was it like the experience of playing with him on a final day, not only the way he was playing, but also the experience of having the Aussie world expectation on you?
ADAM SCOTT: Look, I’ve always enjoyed playing with Tiger. I’ve always felt it really focuses you, because you have to be, because there’s so much commotion and stuff going on, and that’s what he brings to any group he plays in. So I’ve enjoyed that, because it’s put the blinkers on and get down to business, and not worry what he’s up to, and how good he is and all the stuff he does out there. I’ve had good days and bad days. And today I had a bit of both out there with him. When you’re playing for a Major you’re not worried about who you’re playing with, you’re worried about getting the job done.
Q. Where are you going next?
ADAM SCOTT: I’ll stay here and head over to Bridgetown from there.