Adam Scott's Putting Woes Ruin First Nine, Nearly Take Him Out Of Masters Contention

Adam Scott Masters Third Round
Getty Images

There hasn’t been a repeat champion at the Masters since Tiger Woods accomplished the feat in 2001 and 2002. The green jacket has only been defended three times in the tournament’s history, by Woods, Nick Faldo and Jack Nicklaus. Pretty elite company, for sure.

Unfortunately, despite his best efforts for the first two days at Augusta National, Saturday’s rough outing may have taken Adam Scott out of contention to join that club.

Scott’s talent has never been in question, but if there’s one thing that has always held him back, it’s been the putter. It’s why he went to the long stick in the first place. Even when his putting is average, he’s one of the best players in the world, and he’s got a green jacket to show for it.

That’s the biggest reason why it’s so surprising that Scott failed to keep up with the pace on Saturday. Sure, by the time he teed off at 2:25 Eastern time, the already fast putting surfaces turned as slippery as hockey rinks, but he handled similar conditions with relative ease last year. He reeled it in a bit on the second nine, but by the time he posted a four-over-par 40 on the first nine, he had given back too much.

Scott is only six shots back, so there’s still an outside chance for him to make something happen. “It’s not the end of the world,” Scott told reporters after the round. “There are a lot of people between me and the leaders. But if I can play a good front nine, anything can happen on the back, and it would be fun to post a number and sit in the clubhouse and watch.”

It would certainly be entertaining to see Scott make a comeback for the ages, it’s just not that likely to happen. It was a good run, but once again, Augusta’s unforgiving nature has gotten the best of one of the game’s biggest stars.

Brandon Raper is the lead golf writer for RantSports.com. “Like” him on Facebook, follow him on Twitter @Brandon__Raper, and join him on Google+.