x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

A satisfied Scott heads for Turnberry

The Australian feels staying in the hunt lifted his confidence as he continues along the road to recovery.

Martin Kaymer maintained his winning ways at Loch Lomond as Adam Scott continued along the road to recovery. The Australian's fall from the higher reaches of the game has been alarming when one considers he turned up at the Abu Dhabi championship 18 months ago ranked among the world's top five golfers, but began his week at Loch Lomond in 43rd place.

He was second after the opening two rounds, but experienced contrasting fortunes over the weekend, slipping down the field with a 73 in the third round, only to redeem himself with a closing 66 that allowed him a share of fourth place alongside Soren Kjeldsen of Denmark at 12 under, three behind the champion Kaymer. Scott was encouraged by his girlfriend Ana Ivanovic, the Serbian tennis player, and he responded by posting a final round that included five birdies and did not drop any shot.

Scott is now relishing what the British Open could hold for him. "I feel the best I've felt this year, to be honest. It feels very good overall. I think all aspects of my game have improved from past years," said Scott. "I'm feeling happy about putting a good number on the board this week. It's been a while since I've done that. "I think it was good for the nerves, as well, to be kind of playing not near the lead, but to be up there on a Sunday and just feel like you are playing for a position in the tournament. It is a bit of a confidence thing. Hopefully, I can make a few putts at the Open to get myself into it."

Scott's fellow Australian, Rod Pampling, is assured of a place at the Open after the top five finishers here were occupied by players who had already qualified for Turnberry. One place at the Open had been available to those unqualified and who finished inside the top five of the Scottish Open. dkane@thenational.ae