x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Adam Scott is on verge of becoming No 1 in golf. How nice

Scott, who won the Players Championship in 2004, only has to finish 16th this week to go top. And he is a likable person too.

Adam Scott will be the second Australian, after Greg Norman, to become the world No 1 if he finished among the top 16 this week. Tannen Maury / EPA
Adam Scott will be the second Australian, after Greg Norman, to become the world No 1 if he finished among the top 16 this week. Tannen Maury / EPA

The irony would be spectacular. When Adam Scott came to the United States as a teenager to attend college, he hooked up with noted coach Butch Harmon, who retooled the young Australian’s swing into a mirror image of the motion used by fellow pupil Tiger Woods, who was at the peak of his powers at the time.

This week at the high-powered Players Championship, with Woods again on the sideline after back surgery, Scott can supplant the man he once mimicked as world No 1, becoming the first Australian since Greg Norman to reach the top of the mountain.

Outside of his swing, though, Scott is a clone of Woods in almost no other fashion.

Polite and respectful, almost to a fault, Scott has been nothing but a credit to the game over his 15 years as a professional. Harmon once suggested that Scott was “too nice” to reach the top of the sport.

Like his Masters victory 13 months ago, moving to No 1 could only help rekindle the sport’s waning flame down under, too.

Scott, who won the Players Championship in 2004, only has to finish 16th this week to go top. “No one else has played better the last three years than Scotty, especially in big tournaments,” fellow Aussie Geoff Ogilvy told the Australian Associated Press.

“He’s a legitimate No 1. He’s a way better player than Tiger at this moment right now, purely on recent record.”

Even better, he is a more likeable person, too.

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