Clubs, and fraternities, are not uncommon for Adam Scott.
For some, he is one of many members. Like the Sigma Chi fraternity he joined while studying at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
For others, he is the sole custodian – first Australian winner of The Masters at Augusta; only golfer to win all four stops on the US PGA Tour’s ‘Texas Slam’ in his career.
But there is another club only Scott belongs to that is particularly relevant at the 2016 Emirates Australian Open – he is the only man to shoot 62 at Royal Sydney Golf Club during our national championship.
Ironically, Scott’s 10-under score at the opening round in 2013 took place at one of the most prestigious and exclusive clubs in Australian golf. So what clicked that day?
“I just went out and hit six good shots in a row,” Scott says with a laugh, downplaying opening with six birdies in as many holes. Speaking from Atlanta, Georgia, Scott remains modest about his course record.
“I had some makeable putts and I think it all just fell into place.”
Such stellar golf was no surprise given he’d won his maiden Major at Augusta in April, as well as the Australian PGA Championship and Masters leading up to Royal Sydney.
But six birdies to start and four to finish? Even the man himself was surprised.
“You don’t really think about starting a tournament like that; maybe you dream about it,” recalls Scott, who teed off Royal Sydney's 10th that year.
“It was a great way to start. Looking back at that year, I played so well in general. My confidence was high. I’d won the PGA a couple of weeks earlier, I’d won the Masters and I’d played well at the World Cup of Golf in Melbourne. I was playing some great golf.”
For his 2016 homecoming, Scott will be fresh off a superb American season during which he won twice and missed no cuts from 20 events. The 13-time US PGA Tour winner is confident of good scores at Royal Sydney, as long as he’s driving it accurately.
“To go really low at Royal Sydney, you’ve got to be in the fairway,” says Scott.
“A bit like the Sandbelt golf courses of Melbourne, it’s very hard to attack the course from the rough.
“Pins can get tucked behind corners of bunkers and without the control from the fairway it’s very hard to play attacking style golf. Sometimes attacking is hitting to 15 feet.”
A LEGACY AT HOME
What really drives the five-time PGA Tour of Australasia champion is winning on home soil with family and friends in the gallery.
“I love coming back to Australia,” says Scott. “We’ve had some great golf tournaments and it’s going to continue this year with Jordan Spieth coming back. Giving tournament golf in Australia a boost every year is a really good thing.
“For me, I have goals as well; I’m lucky I’ve won the tournaments in Australia but I want to see my name on the Stonehaven Cup more than just once (2009).
“I want to be on there like Greg (Norman), Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus – a bunch of times. I’ve been close to getting it on there again, but my time’s getting shorter.”
Whether that second engraving of ‘Adam Scott’ on the Stonehaven Cup will require another 62, only time will tell. One thing we do know is that with Gil Hanse – architect of the Rio Olympic course –
hired to redesign the Rose Bay layout from 2018, there's a strong chance Scott’s course record may stand as the only 62 the current layout ever witnesses during an Australian Open.
That is, unless someone goes out and does it again this week.