Adam Scott intends to use his runner-up finish at the Memorial Tournament to feed his growing hunger to win a second Major championship at Pebble Beach Golf Links next week.
Beginning the final round trailing Germany’s Martin Kaymer by two strokes, Scott was instead overrun by a rampant Patrick Cantlay on Sunday in Ohio, the American’s 8-under 64 propelling him to a two-shot win over Scott who recovered from a shaky start to shoot 68.
With tournament host Jack Nicklaus waiting to greet the winner to the side of the 18th green at Muirfield Village, a dropped shot at the 10th saw Scott fall to 1-under on his round but he rallied late to put himself back in the mix.
A birdie from close range at the par-4 14th brought him to within three of Cantlay and when he birdied both 15 and 16 gave himself a chance to rein in Cantlay over the closing two holes.
Birdie putts of 16 and 21 feet at the closing two holes failed to fall, the Queenslander’s consolation a cheque for $US982,800 and confidence heading towards the third Major of the year.
Scott will waste little time in preparing for the 119th US Open Championship, heading to the Monterey Peninsula on Tuesday with renewed determination to add to his 2013 Masters triumph.
“Maybe it's a good thing I didn't win this week,” Scott said following his final round.
“I'm going to be a little more focused over the next week, 10 days, before we start Pebble and want it a little more.
“I don't know if that's true. I want it pretty bad,” he added.
“I've got a sense of how good it needs to be to hold up down the stretch at a major, especially there.
“You're going to have to hit some golf shots coming down that back nine there. If I can do just a little bit better, I feel like I'll be right there.”
With a driving accuracy of 71.43 per cent in the final round and 83.33 per cent greens in regulation, Scott’s ball-striking is almost without peer at present but he pointed to improvements in his short game as an even more positive indicator prior to Pebble Beach.
“I thought my short game was really good when I needed it this week,” said Scott.
“I can't just rely on hitting every fairway and green. It's a very different setup at Pebble than here.
“Much smaller targets and I'm going to try to rely on every part of my game to be good there, and I feel it is good.”
In addition to Scott’s runner-up finish it was also a good week for Victorian Marc Leishman who had four birdies in his final eight holes to finish in outright fifth position, his first top-five result since the Genesis Open in February.
Aaron Baddeley moved up to 74th in the FedEx Cup courtesy of a tie for 22nd while two double bogeys in his final six holes saw Matt Jones drop to a tie for 41st with a 4-over 76.
West Australian Stephen Leaney continues to make a good impression in his maiden season on the Champions Tour, finishing tied for 21st at the Principal Charity Classic in Des Moines.
A top-10 finish was looking likely when Leaney began the final round tied for 15th and began with two birdies in his first four holes but dropped shots at the seventh and 10th holes kept his round in check, signing off with a 2-under 70, Kevin Sutherland winning in a playoff after a third round of 10-under 62.
Four-under through 13 holes of his final round, Victorian David McKenzie was also on course for a strong finish but a bogey at 16 followed by a double bogey at the par-3 17th where his tee shot found the water resulted in a 1-under 71 and tie for 33rd.
The Memorial Tournament
Muirfield Village, Dublin, Ohio
2 Adam Scott 71-66-66-68—271 $US982,800
5 Marc Leishman 67-71-69-69—276 $364,000
T22 Aaron Baddeley 72-70-68-73—283 $87,360
T41 Matt Jones 75-67-69-76—287 $31,850
MC Ryan Fox 75-72—147
MC Danny Lee 77-71—148
MC Jason Day 75-74—149
MC Cameron Smith 77-74—151
Principal Charity Classic
Wakonda Club, Des Moines, Iowa
T21 Stephen Leaney 70-69-70—209 $US19,584
T33 David McKenzie 69-71-71—211 $12,210
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