Scott led the 2012 Open by four shots with four holes to play at Royal Lytham and St. Annes, and the 32-year-old looked certain to claim the first major title of his career until dropped shots at the final four holes saw him finish a stroke behind South Africa’s Ernie Els.
“I’m obviously playing well, so it’s important I should be confident here and try and build my own confidence and pick up some momentum as we come into a really important stretch to the year, ” started Scott at Firestone, as he spoke to the media for the first time since leaving Lytham in a state of shock. “The disappointment of Lytham shouldn’t hold me back from taking advantage of the
way I’m playing at the moment.
“To be honest, I really felt a bit shocked and almost numb,” said Scott, who admits he has not watched any recorded coverage of the Open. “It just all happened so fast, looking back on it, how quickly it can slip away, and without doing that much wrong. I certainly didn’t beat myself up and have to curl up in a corner.
“I’m disappointed that I didn’t win from that position, but I left that major the same as I’ve left every other one, and that’s empty‑handed. I’ve been disappointed a lot of times at majors, even though I’ve never been closer to one. There wasn’t that much healing to do.”
Scott was not taking many calls that Sunday night after the Open, but one call he did take was from his childhood idol Greg Norman, winner of the Open in 1986 and 1993, but also a golfer who has suffered more than his share of final-round heartache in the majors.
“Greg Norman called me on Sunday night and that was great,” said Scott. “He’s a good friend of mine and a big supporter, and he just wanted to make sure I was doing fine. [He told me to] get back out there and work on the things that I think I should.”
Scott’s return to competition could probably not come at a better place, as he is the defending champion at Firestone Country Club, having played some of the finest golf of his career in the final round in the 2011 Bridgestone, when a 65, five under par, saw him defeat Luke Donald and Rickie Fowler by four shots.
“For me, [the Open] might have been the proof that I need. Everyone has always said I’m a guy with potential to win majors, but until you’ve got physical proof that you can do it, maybe you don’t 100% believe it. [The Open] was the proof that I’m good enough to win major championships. Although I didn’t finish like a champion last week, I know I’ve got that in me. It’s just putting the pieces of the puzzle together, and I think that might have been the last piece for me.”
Story courtesy of Mercedes-Benz, patron of the 2012 PGA Championship, which
takes place on the Ocean Course, Kiawah Island next week, August 9-12