As I think everyone will agree, we’ve probably just witnessed the most exciting season of men’s tournament golf in Australia for 15 years.
In truth, the build-up and the events themselves could not have gone to a better script. In every event, Australia’s Masters champion Adam Scott had a role to play. He held off Rickie Fowler in Queensland, Matt Kuchar in Melbourne, helped Australia to win the ISPS Handa World Cup with Jason Day before taking the country through a nail-biting finale at the Emirates Australian Open where Rory McIlroy recorded his first win for 2013 and in doing so ended Adam’s triple crown fairytale on the 18th green.
We congratulate Rory on a wonderful win and, as much as we all wanted to see Adam clinch the triple crown to cap a career-defining year, it seemed fitting that the final outcome went all the way to the 18th green – some 288 holes after Adam first teed off on his return on the Gold Coast.
With all that in mind, Adam’s impact on Australian golf this year has been nothing short of profound.
The U.S Masters victory ignited a passion and an enthusiasm in people both inside golf and outside golf. It excited players, administrators, retailers, sponsors, broadcasters and many more.
You only had to look at the demographics of people walking through the gates of the major tournaments in Queensland, Melbourne and Sydney: men, women, families with children, husbands and wives, grandparents, teenagers and many, many more flooded through.
Journalist Nicole Jeffery likened it in The Australian to the times when Sir Don Bradman would go into bat. Word would get around that The Don was heading out into the middle and so the crowds would converge on SCG on any other ground around the country to watch history.
While Adam doesn’t yet hold the position in Australian sporting folklore that Bradman does, the parallels Nicole wrote of are there to be seen. When word gets around of when Adam is teeing off, you can see the crowds surge at the entry gates or move from elsewhere on the course to wherever Adam is.
He has that magnetic effect.
It would be remiss of me to finish this column without thanking Adam for everything he has done for Australian golf in 2013 – particularly at the major tournaments. He was exceedingly generous with his time while trying to focus on playing the events and for that we are very grateful.