AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) - Ending Australia’s jinx at the Masters is not the only thing on Adam Scott’s mind as he prepares for Sunday’s final round at Augusta National.
It is also a chance at redemption, to make up for last year’s British Open when he threw away a four shot lead with four holes to play.
It was an experience that might have scarred him but Scott has used it for motivation, knowing that he was now good enough to contend in the majors and all he had to do was improve his finish.
Less than nine months after his British Open collapse, the 32-year-old Queenslander has a golden opportunity to claim the Masters, finishing Saturday’s penultimate round in third place one shot behind co-leaders Brandt Snedeker and Angel Cabrera.
“I don’t really think I need to do too much different,” he told a news conference after shooting a 69.
“Everything I’m doing seems to be getting me there right at the end. If I’m in the same position I was in at the Open last year tomorrow, then I’m obviously playing an incredible round and I’ll just be trying to finish the job.”
Scott has good reason to feel optimistic about his prospects as he has come close to winning the Masters before.
Two years ago he finished tied for second after shooting a final round of 67 to charge up the leaderboard.
Twelve months ago, he finished tied for eighth after closing with a 66 that included a hole-in-one on the 16th, one of the picture-postcard holes at Augusta.
“A couple years ago here, I felt like I did everything I could, and it wasn’t enough, but that’s how it goes sometimes,” he said.
“I know someone else is going to play well so I’m going to need to really have a career round.
“That’s what these big events do for someone. It’s a career round that makes them a champion.”
As well as his personal ambition, Scott has an added reason for winning the Masters as it remains the only major that has eluded generations of Australia’s best golfers.
But if weight of numbers is any guide, the odds could be in Australia’s favor this time with Scott’s compatriots Marc Leishman and Jason Day tied for fourth one stroke back.
“We’ve got another great chance. There are three of us right there knocking on the door tomorrow,” said Scott, who was inspired to take up golf after watching his idol Greg Norman.
“Aussies are proud sporting people, and we’d love to put another notch in our belt ... this is one thing that one of us would like to do tomorrow for sure.”
Editing by Greg Stutchbury