Date: April 10, 2017
Author: Mark Hayes

Scott can’t find top gear

Adam Scott had his chances, but it just wasn’t his day.

For a stellar sixth time, the Queenslander finished the Masters in the top 10 – but it’s a stat he’ll take precious little comfort from today as he rues what might have been.

And that’s probably the tale of the year’s first major for all the Aussies with Jason Day (71 to finish +2), Marc Leishman (71 to finish +8) and Curtis Luck (72 to finish +9) all faring well, but perhaps without living out their expectations.

Scott’s 73 left him in T9, a fair reflection of a rollercoaster afternoon in which he still featured right up to drowning his approach on the 15th as he went for broke.

The 36-year-old began steadily from his three-under 54-hole base camp, giving himself plenty of early opportunities.

But solid putts burnt the lip on the first three holes and by the time he couldn’t scramble a par from left of the fifth, it was clear momentum wasn’t his friend.

A birdie on the sixth gave hope, as did two more on the 13th and 14th holes, but at four under playing the 15th and now five off the lead, his bold bid at eagle landed on the green but ultimately ended his chances as it trickled back into the pond.

The resultant bogey, and another on the 17th, consigned him to a 73 and a two-under total, seven out of the playoff.

“I got off to a slow start, unfortunately. I was hitting it good enough, but didn’t take advantage and found myself in a couple of tough spots and got no momentum going,” Scott told Fox Sports.

“I found myself in a position where I had to force things on 15 and have a crack at the flag and came up a yard or so short and then bogeyed one coming in, but it was too late.

“It wasn’t where I wanted to be on the back nine, so I can’t be too disappointed, I played well this week and it just didn’t happen today … my rhythm just wasn’t quite as good today.”

Day couldn’t find a birdie until the 13th, then peeled off another three coming in after dropping shots at the second and third holes to derail any thoughts of a grandstand finish.

Leishman began and ended his round with double-bogeys, but in the interim played arguably the most aggressive and captivating golf of the round.

The big Victorian holed out for an eagle on the seventh – just the 15th in Masters history – among five other birdies and two bogeys a day after his third-round 78 ended his chances.

Luck was playing well with no reward and three over for his round until he came to the 12th.

But a superb tee shot to the legendary par three sparked a great run of four consecutive birdies that he will remember long after his final round as an amateur.