ST ANDREWS, Scotland, July 17 (Reuters) - World number 11 Adam Scott has praised Jordan Spieth’s decision to defend his Australian Open crown later this year.
The young American shot a stunning eight-under 63 to eclipse Australian Scott and world number one Rory McIlroy as he stormed to a six-stroke victory in Sydney last November.
“It’s huge for the Australian Open as no matter what happens to Jordan on the course the rest of this year, the tournament will have the U.S. Masters and U.S. Open winner in the field,” Scott told Reuters during the British Open at St Andrews.
“It continues to keep the Australian Open on the world stage. Jordan is the most exciting player we have out here at the moment and continues a good run for organisers back home as they seem to continue to get the right players to tee up.”
Scott said he had a lot of time for Spieth, who was two strokes off the lead after Thursday’s British Open first round, as a golfer and as a man.
“It was great for the Australian Open that Jordan committed early to defend the tournament and that is all part of his nature, you can’t fault the guy at present,” he added.
”He is doing all the right things off the golf course, making all the right calls, and everyone says he has such a mature head on his shoulders.
“I also know from speaking to Jordan, and reading his comments after winning in Sydney last year, he appreciates the history of the Australian Open,” said Scott.
“That 63 was spectacular and in my view it was probably the best final round of golf I saw anywhere last year,” said 2013 Masters champion Scott who carded an opening 70 at St Andrews.
The second round resumed on Friday after torrential morning rain had flooded the Old Course, leaving many of the greens, fairways and bunkers under water and causing a lengthy suspension of play.
The Australian Open will be held from Nov. 26-29.
Editing by Tony Jimenez