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Scott eyes bumper 2024 after promising season finish

3 minute read

Adam Scott doesn't want to let his end to 2023 be a flash in the pan as he eyes a return to golf's top table.

ADAM SCOTT.
ADAM SCOTT. Picture: Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Kicking himself after letting another shot at Australian Open glory slip from his grasp, Adam Scott is determined to ensure his promising end to 2023 doesn't go to waste.

Scott was on course, literally, for his first Open crown since 2009 on Sunday only suffer a triple-bogey on his 16th hole that fumbled the lead to eventual winner, Chilean Joaquin Niemann.

The 43-year-old eventually carded an eight-birdie, three-under 68 on Sunday at The Australian to finish tied for fourth.

The latest gut-wrenching near-miss continued an unfortunate trend for Scott, who has become something of a nearly-man, finishing runner-up at the Australian Open in 2013, 2015 and 2022 - and now this - after also failing to land an elusive second major.

But the former world No.1 hopes the promise he has shown at the back end of the year, which includes a sixth at the Australian PGA Championship and fifth at the Bermuda Championship, will be the catalyst to challenge for more majors in 2024.

Australia's only US Masters champion hasn't finished in the top 10 of a major since the 2019 US Open.

But the 2013 Augusta National hero wants to use his strong end to 2023 as a springboard to be back among the game's elite.

"It's been nice to be more in the mix over the last three events I've played," Scott said.

"I kind of spent most of the year struggling to get attention and to be in contention the last three events I've played has felt good. I think I'm on the right track with everything.

"But, unfortunately, it's one of those times of the year and you have a break and you hope you'll have something when you start again.

"I'd love to be finding some good form and be feeling really good from April through July and to have a really good four majors would really be satisfying because it's been a while since I had a really good run."

Scott's triple-bogey blunder summed up a frustrating weekend for Australian hopefuls in the men's tournament and showed the brutality of the course on offer in Sydney.

Min Woo Lee finished two strokes behind Niemann after sitting atop the leaderboard at the close of play on Friday and Saturday but was unable to do the double after clinching the Australian PGA Championship a week earlier.

Cameron Smith never really looked like challenging but still rallied to tie for 17th after shaking off his horror-show performance on his home deck in Brisbane last week.

Minjee Lee threatened to give Australia a first women's title since Karrie Webb in 2014 but fell one stroke behind eventual winner Ashleigh Buhai.

After a glittering 2022 highlighted by a second career major at the US Open, Lee ended a glorious 2023 in style with two wins, two seconds and nothing worse than a share of 13th in her past seven starts.

The world No.5 has no vision of returning to the course until she takes some well-earned rest.

"I'm going to reward myself with a bit of R&R," the dual major winner said after working tirelessly to overcome a bout of the putting yips that led to an uncharacteristic run of three straight missed cuts and no top-10 finishes in 10 consecutive LPGA Tour events.

"It wasn't the easiest thing. There was no magic formula and you need time to get over things," Lee said.

"When we're on tour there is no time to get back to things.

"I didn't want it to be the death of me. I don't know what my potential can be."

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