The first event of the FedEx Cup playoffs is in the books. Although The Barclays played host to some incredible performances with new course records set by three different players, Adam Scott found himself at the top of the leaderboard at the right time to take the first title of the run to the season’s championship.
Scott, who was playing in only his 13th PGA Tour event of the year, famously started the season on a high note, winning the Masters back in April in a riveting playoff with Angel Cabrera. After taking home the green jacket, expectations couldn’t have been any higher for Scott; but despite generally solid play, his limited schedule may have kept him from staying at the absolute top of the game.
After his major championship breakthrough, Scott only earned two more top-10 finishes in the regular season, at the Open Championship and earlier this month at the PGA Championship. After a five-under round of 66 in Friday’s second round, Scott knew he would still have some work to do to win and put a real stamp on his year.
“I feel like I’ve played a lot of good golf and obviously winning at Augusta is huge, but I feel like I’d like to win again before the end of the season, and kind of validate all of my good play,” Scott told USA TODAY at the time, going on to add that he thought that “five-under a day” was what he felt would be needed.
How fitting then, that Scott’s round of 66 — five under — on Sunday would be enough to take the win. Finishing nearly an hour and a half ahead of the final group, his mark of 11-under looked good, but not enough to win. 54-hole leader Matt Kuchar stumbled to an awful round of 78, and when Tiger Woods‘s valiant attempt to finish with three consecutive birdies fell a single rotation short, Scott finally earned the win that would validate his season.
Most importantly for Scott, the win moved him from 11th to second in the points, now trailing only Woods, whose tie for second mirrored the 2009 event at Liberty National and kept him in first place.
Now with only two more playoffs before the points reset heading into the Tour Championship, Scott almost holds his fate in his own hands. Each of the last three Barclays champions has gone to the Tour Championship in the top two, 72 holes away from history.
Will Scott be able to take this performance and turn it into a $10 million payday in Atlanta? Only time will tell, but this could be the perfect start down that path.