Pinehurst ready to challenge a very different Scott in 2014

Thu Jun 5, 2014 2:49pm EDT
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By Andrew Both

(Reuters) - Adam Scott has certainly taken his game to another level in the majors recently but he is not exactly a new face on the golf scene as he sets his sights on next week's U.S. Open at Pinehurst in North Carolina.

Nine years ago, the Australian was only three shots from the U.S. Open halfway lead on Pinehurst's No. 2 Course before fading over the weekend to finish equal 28th, 11 strokes behind winner Michael Campbell of New Zealand.

"Of course I am a different player (now)," Scott said while preparing for the U.S. Open at Pinehurst Resort, the third time the year's second major will be staged at the venue.

"I'm a lot older and experienced, and I'm playing well. But I was also playing well when I went in there last time.

"I was on that ride up as a kid. I think I generally played OK there that week (at Pinehurst) and maybe didn't finish the best on Sunday."

Scott was ranked seventh in the world at the time but was largely ignored by the media, something that will not happen at next week's edition when he will return to Pinehurst in all likelihood as the game's top-ranked player.

But never mind his ranking. What makes Scott a favorite for this year's U.S. Open is his recent consistency in the majors.

Since hooking up with swing coach Brad Malone, who is also his brother-in-law, and having reassessed his focus, Scott has become a regular presence on the leaderboard at majors.   Continued...

Jun 1, 2014; Dublin, OH, USA; The fairway of the first hole is reflected int he sungalsses of Adam Scott as he tees off during the final round of The Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports