Adam Scott has surged into contention for the $US15 million FedEx Cup bounty after a final round at The Northern Trust that caught him somewhat by surprise.
A winner at Liberty National Golf Club six years ago, Scott shot 6-under 65 in the final round to catapult himself into fifth position for the week and advance his FedEx Cup standing by seven spots heading into the second playoffs event in Chicago later this week.
Just three Aussies remain in the hunt for the FedEx Cup with Scott best placed in 14th position closely followed by Marc Leishman (16th) while Jason Day’s missed cut resulted in a fall of 10 spots to 50th and in danger of missing the Tour Championship in Atlanta.
Starting the final round tied for 17th, Scott made seven birdies and just the one bogey to rocket up the leaderboard with the round of the day and finish three back of winner Patrick Reed.
Buoyed by practice that he expected to transfer into better scores earlier in the week, Scott hopes that he can carry forward that which worked on Sunday into a strong start at Medinah for the BMW Championship.
“It took me a bit by surprise,” Scott admitted following his round.
“The Open, and then maybe a slight hangover in Memphis, was a little loose, but I did some good work last week.
“Was surprised it wasn't better the first three days here, but I was just grinding hard and then finally got it in a spot today.
“Hopefully I can manage to hold that for the next three days and tee off with some form.
“Again, the story of my year; I just tee off too far back on Sunday to feel like I can win these things, and when I have had a good round, someone else has had a better round.”
All but guaranteed a place in the 30-man field for the Tour Championship at East Lake – a tournament he won back in 2006 – Scott says that feeling of security will enable him to adopt an aggressive format in the final two events.
“It’s good because the last couple years have been a scramble for me,” said Scott, who has qualified for the Tour Championship just once since 2014.
“Last year was and I ran out of gas and it's much nicer being able to play free next week.
“If I can hit it like I did today, at least half of next week, that would be better than I did this week and maybe I can get myself in a position to win a golf tournament.”
Joining Scott near the top of the leaderboard this week were two players with success in Australia in recent years.
Reigning Australian Open champion Abraham Ancer moved into the top eight of the Internationals’ Presidents Cup standings on the back of his runner-up finish while 2016 Australian PGA champion Harold Varner III rose from 102nd to 29th in the FedEx Cup in finishing tied for third.
Day and Leishman both missed the cut last week while Matt Jones’ tie for 30th wasn’t enough to push him inside the top 70 in the FedEx Cup standings and secure a place at the BMW Championship.
Cameron Smith and Kiwi Danny Lee both began the week with their fate in their hands but Smith’s tie for 59th and Lee’s final round of 77 saw their PGA TOUR seasons come to an end.
Aaron Baddeley’s excellent season also came to a premature end after he withdrew just four holes in on Thursday with a back injury.
|The Northern Trust|
|Liberty National Golf Club, New Jersey|
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