Fed up with losing, a fired-up Adam Scott intends to use this week’s PGA TOUR Zurich Classic to prove to Internationals captain Ernie Els that he and fellow Queenslander Jason Day must be partnered together in order to overturn the US dominance at the Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne Golf Club in December.
Currently 11th in the Presidents Cup selection standings for the Internationals team, Scott knows he has to first play his way into the team but given the success he and Day shared at the 2013 World Cup of Golf at Royal Melbourne it’s hard to imagine Els going into battle without him.
Not noted for emotional outbursts, Scott has featured on the Internationals team in each of the past eight matches yet has never won, a famous tie in South Africa in his Presidents Cup debut in 2003 the only time he has not walked away a loser.
Scott and Day are considered one of the favourites in this week’s two-man teams event at TPC Louisiana and the 2013 Masters champion intends to make a statement.
Given the various backgrounds of the golfers chosen to represent the Internationals, getting the balance right of the pairings is crucial and having played with Day in just one match in Korea in 2015, Scott wants to make one decision simple for Els.
“I think we're a hell of a team,” Scott said in a joint press conference with Day on Tuesday.
“You can't tell a lot from one match but I believe Jason and I are a really formidable pairing.
“I don't care who else is on the team and what team we're playing, who we play has to take notice of us.
“I've tried to push for it to happen more often but there's a lot of different opinions and things to happen.
“You have to play as a team member and do what's best for the team but I would definitely push for this pairing certainly in Australia. I think it's very formidable.”
A resurgence that really took hold at last year’s US PGA Championship at Bellerive Country Club, Scott has finished in the top 20 in six of his nine appearances this PGA TOUR season to move up to 28th in the Official World Golf Rankings.
He has all the makings of a future Internationals captain but is desperate to first taste victory in a Presidents Cup.
“I've sat through a lot of Presidents Cup beat-downs over the years and I've kind of had enough of it,” said Scott.
“I'm prepared to do whatever it takes, whatever Ernie thinks it takes to kind of change the culture in our team.
“It's about starting to grow a culture amongst the international players and showing everyone who's coming up the importance of this tournament.
“When you're going up against the Americans, which it seems like their team gets stronger every two years, you can't just be blasé and think you're going to show up and compete.”
Along with the all-Aussie pairing of Scott and Day, potential International pairings in action this week include Koreans Whee Kim and Sungjae Im, Kiwi Danny Lee and Korea’s Sung Kang, Canadians Corey Conners and Mackenzie Hughes, Venezuela’s Johnattan Vegas and Argentinian Abraham Ancer, Indian duo of Shubhankar Sharma and Anirban Lahiri and two South African pairings of Branden Grace and Justin Harding and Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel.
Dinners throughout the week will help to foster team camaraderie but for Day what matters most is how everyone performs this week.
“It’s a good opportunity to see where we're at with regards to the potential guys that are playing on the Presidents Cup and seeing how they play this week in tournament-like conditions like we're going to see down in Melbourne,” Day explained.
“Obviously we've got to focus this week on trying to win this tournament, but this is something for Ernie to look back on, to be able to see potential match-ups or teams.
“Some guys aren't going to gel well together, some guys are going to do really well.
“That's the learning curve.
“But right now we're just trying to focus on winning the Zurich Classic.”
Another with the Presidents Cup in their sights is Cameron Smith who has reunited with Jonas Blixt for the third straight year having won the 2017 tournament.
Aussie veterans Rod Pampling and John Senden have teamed up this week while Aaron Baddeley will play alongside Canadian Adam Hadwin in a format that sees fourballs on day one and three and foursomes on day two and four.
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