Runner-up Scott cracks $US50m. on US tour

Adam Scott became the first Australian to surpass $US50 million on the PGA Tour with a runner-up to Justin Rose at the Farmers Insurance Open.

28-Jan-2019 By Evin Priest, Australian Associated Press
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Adam Scott believes a return to his best form is imminent after becoming the first Australian to reach $US50 million on the US PGA Tour with a runner-up finish at the Farmers Insurance Open in California.

In his event debut, Scott finished two shots behind winner Justin Rose, who posted a three-under-par 69 and a 21-under total.

World No.1 Rose's 267 marked the lowest winning 72-hole score at the Torrey Pines event since the South course was re-designed in 2001, eclipsing the 19-under Tiger Woods posted when he claimed the 2008 edition.

Scott closed with four straight birdies for a 68 and his 19-under score would have been enough to win any of the past 10 editions at one of the PGA Tour's most difficult golf courses.

Scott's second-place cheque of $US766,800 took his PGA Tour career prize money to $US50,184,193.

But new world No.30 Scott downplayed his accolade, given the vast increase in PGA Tour purses in the Tiger Woods era.

Greg Norman was the first player in the tour's history to reach $US10 million but now sits only 11th among Australians on the all-time list with $US14,484,458 despite his 20 wins and 331 weeks as world No.1 in the 1980s and 1990s.

"It's a quirky milestone," said Scott of his own achievement. "I think Jason (Day, $US44,051, 497) will be the first Australian to 100 (million)."

Scott switched to an arm-lock putting grip on tournament eve and ranked 14th in the field for strokes gained in putting and first in the field for iron play.

The combination has the former world No.1 convinced he can break his win drought of almost three years and return to golf's top ranks.

"If I can keep this form over the next few months, and I'm in good for the Players and the Masters, I'm going to be play some really good golf," he said.

Rose, a close friend and neighbour of Scott's in the Bahamas, said the Queenslander appeared close to returning to his best.

"He's got the bit between his teeth again; he's got the look in his eye. He's playing really well and swinging it gorgeously," Rose said.

Japan's Hideki Matsuyama (67) and Talor Gooch (68) tied third at 16 under, while defending champion Day (67) shared fifth alongside Rory McIlroy (69) and 2017 champion Jon Rahm (72) at 14 under.

Two-time winner Day gained his fifth top-10 result at Torrey Pines and will return to the world No.10 ranking.

"It's great that I keep playing well here; there a lot of positives to look forward to at the Pebble Beach Pro Am; a place I know I can win at," Day said.

Cameron Smith fired an impressive 65 that earned him a tie for ninth at 12 under, while Matt Jones (67) shared 13th at 11 under.

Marc Leishman (five under), John Senden and Cameron Davis (three under) rounded out the Australian contingent.


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