Date: November 18, 2013

Grant Report – Scott has number 1 spot in his sights

Adam Scott has edged closer to Tiger Woods’ world No.1 ranking after successfully defending the Australian Masters at Royal Melbourne and winning his second tournament in a row following last week’s Australian PGA victory.

Scott has whittled the gap to Woods back from 3.01 points to 2.55 points and is set to move even closer on the American with this week’s World Cup, also at Royal Melbourne and the Australian Open still to come.

The Queenslander collected the Masters when he fired a final round 71 to finish 14 under the card and two shots ahead of American star Matt Kuchar, with Fijian Vijay Singh a further two shots back in third.

A play-off appeared likely between Kuchar and Scott with the pair tied on 14-under before Kuchar tossed away his chance with a double bogey on the 18th.

Victorians again featured high up on the leader board with Matthew Griffin tied for fifth and Marc Leishman and Geoff Ogilvy taking a share of seventh.

Local Nathan Holman’s surprise early tilt at the title – he fired 68-65-70 on the first three days – crumbled with a final round 78 but he still managed a creditable 15th.

Scott is now after the Australian ‘Triple Crown’ with the Australian Open on his radar next week.

“I’ve never won back-to-back weeks so this is a first and something that I like," Scott said on Sunday.

“I think it’s very hard to win two tournaments full stop, let alone back to back, so I’m quite pleased with myself this week.

“Sometimes you win a little bit ugly. All the good stuff I had done in the first three rounds counted for a lot, even though it wasn’t the prettiest golf today.”

Scott now looks forward to teaming up with Jason Day to represent Australia in the World Cup but Day will go into the tournament with a heavy burden on his shoulders after learning that eight of his family members, including his grandmother, died in the recent Philippines typhoon.

Among the thousands killed by the massive storm were Day’s grandmother, an uncle and six cousins while an aunt was found alive despite being swept to another village.

Day’s mother, Dening, who migrated to Australia from the Philippines 30 years ago, said her son had been told of the tragedies but she was yet to speak to him.

"My daughter has been ­updating him, but I don’t want to bother him because he has commitments,” she said.

"There will be plenty of time to talk after (the World Cup). He’s representing his country, so I don’t want him worrying about anything apart from golf.”

Meanwhile, Scott is philosophical about his chances of toppling Woods.

“Well I think it’s a dream more than a goal,” he said last week. "It’s something I told myself when I was playing up at Twin Waters as a kid, or even younger in the street with a plastic ball and stuff, that I wanted to be world number one.

“For a long time it really wasn’t attainable and I am getting close so I would like to get there, but I don’t make it a goal, because the process of getting there is winning tournaments.

“If I can keep winning tournaments, I can get close so you know there is no better time than now. I’ve never been closer so I have to keep pushing on. The next three weeks is important to that because there are other big tournaments around the world where other players can get points and I have to get as many as I can. I would love to be number one.

“I think it definitely can happen and I think my game is not far from being number one in the world."

By: Robert Grant