Date: August 30, 2017
Author: Martin Blake

Scott on mission in Boston


Adam Scott returns to the PGA Tour in Boston this week on a mission.

Scott was not expecting to even play in the Dell Technologies Championship at TPC Boston, having skipped last week's Northern Trust for the birth of his second child, a boy, Byron, and spending time in Australia with wife Marie Kojzar.

But the timely and apparently smooth birth has allowed the Australian the luxury of a quick trip to the US to continue his quest in the last three tournaments of a season that has been flat for him.

Had he not played this week he would have dropped out of the running on points.

He is 73rd in the Fedex Cup points list; only the top 70 go through to BMW Championship in Chicago and 30 to the Tour Championship in Atlanta. This week, he needs at least a top-35 finish to continue his season.

Scott, who has previously won a Tour Championship (in 2006, before it was part of the lucrative Fedex Cup playoffs series), needs to play well in a hurry to have any chance of catching the likes of Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth and becoming the first Australian to win the Fedex Cup's $US10 million bonus prize.

The 37-year-old is never far off the mark; his 2017 has included some decent results, such as a sixth in the Players Championship, ninth at the Masters and 22nd at the Open Championship. But the wins have dried up, his last triumph being the World Golf Championship's Cadillac Championship in March, 2016.

His world ranking, No. 6 back then, has dipped to No. 18. In five of the past six years, his year-end ranking has been inside the top 10, but unless he finds some instant form in Boston, that is unlikely in 2017.

Scott has played just 13 tournaments in the calendar year, continuing his focus on the bigger events, and is unlikely to change that in 2018 now that he is a father of two young children.

He has named his son Byron, and acknowledged that the legendary Byron Nelson was an inspiration for the choice, along with one of his favorite places. The Australian first met Nelson, "as good a man as I've met'', in 1996 and later won the tournament named in Nelson's honor.

“I just liked the name. It’s a strong name and it has a lot of meaning,” Scott told the tour website. “There’s a great spot, Byron Bay (in New South Wales) in Australia, Lord Byron, and Byron Nelson.”

He tees it up with Bubba Watson and Graham DeLaet at 10.15 Friday evening (Australian eastern time) knowing that his time is now, or his year is basically done.

Five Australians remain in the group of 100 teeing it up this week, led by Marc Leishman, who is ranked 20th on the points list. Jason Day's good performance at Long Island vaulted him to 29th, while Cameron Smith (44) and Rod Pampling (71) need to get a move on, as does Scott.

The top three in the standings — Johnson, Spieth and Justin Thomas — go together at 11.15pm (AEST) Friday.