By Brandon Raper @Brandon__Raper on July 16, 2014
World No. 1 Adam Scott didn't top my power rankings this week, but that doesn't mean he's not still one of the prohibitive favorites to take home the Claret Jug come Sunday afternoon.
After two straight near-misses in the Open Championship, here are five ways Scott can erase those memories and bring his second major title back home to Australia. As always, let me know what you think in the comments below. Read on to get started.
Perhaps this is stating the obvious a bit, but Adam Scott is the No. 1 player in the world for a reason. He’s in contention nearly every time he tees it up. Simply put, Scott is in a different place than we’ve ever seen in his career, and he has yet to show any real signs of slowing down. Paired with caddie Steve Williams, Scott is prepared to win now more than ever.
Ranked eighth in total driving and 13th in ball striking, Scott leads the PGA Tour in the all-around ranking. That’s a big reason why he’s also fourth in adjusted scoring average – when you tend to avoid trouble and hit greens, scoring will follow naturally. It’s easier said than done at the Open, but if Scott can continue stay out of bad spots, the rest of the field could be chasing him all week.
In the rare instance that Scott finds himself in trouble during a round, he’s got an uncanny ability to keep from losing too many shots. He’s 14th on Tour in sand saves, making par from bunkers nearly 60% of the time in 2014. The pot bunkers of Royal Liverpool are punitive, but Scott can handle himself. He’s also ranked 36th in scrambling, proof that his short game doesn’t suffer when the pressure is on.
At times in the past a weak point in Scott’s game, his work on the greens in 2014 has been incredible. Maybe it’s a limited sample size skewing the results, or perhaps his schedule allows him to peak at just the right times. Scott currently ranks 20th in total putting and 15th in strokes gained putting on Tour in 2014. With rain softening the greens, putting will be at a premium at Hoylake.
Yes, he finished in the top-three each of his past two trips to the Open. What most people aren’t talking about, though, is his history at Royal Liverpool. Scott’s only other top-ten in the Open Championship was, you guessed it, in 2006, a tie for eighth. That, plus his incredible current form, makes Scott a huge threat to finally win the Open.
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