x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Golf: Australians ready to bring thunder to AT&T National

No Tiger Woods or Rory McIlroy, but Masters champion Adam Scott will join countrymen at AT&T National near Washington DC this weekend.

Adam Scott of Australia won the Masters two months ago but is coming off a share of 45th at the US Open two weeks ago. Ross Kinnaird / Getty Images
Adam Scott of Australia won the Masters two months ago but is coming off a share of 45th at the US Open two weeks ago. Ross Kinnaird / Getty Images

After a frustrating 2010 campaign Adam Scott decided to adopt a reduced tour schedule the following year with the aim of winning majors.

The move paid off. Two months ago he became the first Australian to win the Masters, at Augusta National, and has seen his world ranking move up to No 4.

"The frustration was really high in 2010," Scott said. "I was playing well, not getting results that I wanted. I was frustrated with a lot of things because of that. I'd had enough of not playing well enough in the big events when I felt I could.

"So I had to do something different. You have to after a while if it's not working. If it's broke, you've got to fix it."

Scott will be joined by his fellow Australians Jason Day and Marc Leishman in the first and second rounds of the AT&T National, Scott's final event before the British Open.

The US$6.5 million (Dh23.9m) event in suburban Washington in played on the same 7,569-yard layout where Rory McIlroy won the 2011 US Open for his first major triumph.

Scott has become the National's top draw after the world No 1 Tiger Woods, the defending champion, pulled out with a left-elbow strain and England's Justin Rose, the new US Open champion, withdrew citing fatigue.

Neither man will play another tournament until next month's British Open at Muirfield and this will be the only event for Scott, who made bogeys on the last four holes to cost himself last year's British Open crown.

Scott is coming off a share of 45th at the US Open two weeks ago.

Organisers at Congressional Club are hoping for a tamer tournament this year. The third round last year was played without spectators as a violent storm late Friday toppled 50 trees across the course, grounds crews barely making the course playable Saturday and unable to safely fix viewing areas until Sunday.

Severe thunderstorms are possible every afternoon this weekend as temperatures and humidity are forecast to be high.

Scott can match the idle American Matt Kuchar for the PGA lead in consecutive cuts by making his 19th in a row this week.

Day, who has made 17 cuts in a row, shared second place at the US Open and has four top-three finishes in the past 10 majors. Day, second to McIlroy here at the 2011 US Open, won his only PGA title at the 2010 Byron Nelson Championship.

Also in the field of 132 chasing a $1.1m top prize are PGA driving distance leader Nicolas Colsaerts of Belgium, US world No 8 Brandt Snedeker, last year's US PGA play-off champion; and Canada's Graham DeLaet.

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