Adam Scott is confident of being in ‘really sharp’ form going into this week’s US PGA Championship at Oak Hill in New York despite failing to challenge Tiger Woods in his runaway win in the WGC Bridgestone Invitational at the weekend.
Woods coasted to victory in Akron, Ohio, winning by seven shots from countryman Keegan Bradley while Scott was tied for 14th place at two under the card and 13 off the pace.
The traditional major champions group featuring US Masters winner Scott, US Open champion Justin Rose and British Open winner Mickelson will play the first two rounds together, teeing off at 1:45pm local time at Oak Hill on Thursday.
Scott declared himself happy with his game ahead of the final major of the year.
"I think I’ve done what I needed to do the last couple days," he said of his weekend in Ohio.
"I’ve been driving it a little better since Thursday, and I feel it’s getting to where I would like it to be. I think by next Thursday I can be really sharp."
Of the seven Australians poised to compete at the PGA, Scott is the clear favourite as he aims to become the fifth winner after Jim Ferrier, David Graham, Wayne Grady and Steve Elkington.
Scott won the Masters and had a chance to clinch the British Open before opening the door for Mickelson. However he still sealed a third place and has proved himself a strong grand slam contender in recent years.
Fellow Queenslander Jason Day is another who is close to breaking through at a major and has built up a strong case for consideration.
Day is hoping to be fully recovered from a virus which hampered his game at the Bridgestone tournament and if he is back to peak form will be able to reflect on his impressive record in the key tournaments.
He has lined up in only 11 major championships and has snared five top tens including a third at Augusta this year and a runner-up finish at the US Open.
Victorians Geoff Ogilvy has been battling form issues for the past 18 months and unless he can suddenly snap out of his malaise he is unlikely to be a threat. The former US Open winner was runner-up at the Honda Classic but that has been his only top 10 finish in 16 PGA Tour starts this season.
John Senden, Brett Rumford and Victorians Marc Leishman and Marcus Fraser will also play.
Leishman was fourth in the Masters but currently his form has gone missing while Fraser has missed six of his past seven cuts since finishing runner-up in the Ballantines tournament in Korea in April.
Senden is among the most consistent of the Australians on the US Tour without being spectacular. While he has not scored a top 10 finish this year he can be relied on to finish somewhere in the middle of the field.
Brett Rumford collected the Ballantines and the Volvo China Open in April and May but has not been able to maintain the form since then.
Meanwhile Victorians Su-Hyun Oh and Grace Lennon are preparing to play in the US Women’s Amateur Championship at the Charleston Country Club in South Carolina.
The pair will be joined by West Australians Hayley Bettencourt and Minjee Lee – the current Australian Amateur Champion and former US Junior Girls Champion.
Oh is currently ranked behind only 16-year-old New Zealand prodigy Lydia Ko, a winner on the LPGA, ALPG and Ladies European Tour, and is the leading world ranked player in the field.
Oh made the quarter-finals last year but will not have to contend with Ko this time as the defending champion has decided to side-step the event and take a break ahead of the defence of her Canadian Women’s Open the title.
By: Robert Grant