Spotlight on: Adam Scott targets success in the 2022 Major Championships

The 41-year-old Aussie revealed late in 2021 that he’s desperate to add to his one victory in the tournaments that define a golfer’s career.

For the most part, the last two years have not been good ones for Adam Scott on the golf course.

He ended 2019 with victory on home soil in the Australian PGA Championship and opened the New Year with a second triumph in the Genesis Invitational.

All looked rosy and yet in his next 22 starts - stretching into August 2021 - he landed a best finish of just T10th; slim pickings for a 31-time worldwide winner.

To make matter worse, his Major Championship performances were dismal, with not one top 20 landed in seven tries.

Play-off defeat in the Wyndham Championship at the start of August was a welcome improvement in form, and he backed it up with a second top five of the year in the CJ Cup, but he admitted in his last start of 2021, at the RSM Classic, that he was frustrated and aiming to get better in the future.

"I'm a goal setter," he explained. "But not down to very specific things. I've always kind of based my career on being a winner and that's been harder the last four or five years for me.

"There have been fewer wins even though some areas of my game have improved. Small goals help the process, but nothing like I want to be ranked top-10 in bunker play or anything very specific like that. More general goal-setting with winning as the outcome."

He concluded: "Next year my goal is to win tournaments and hopefully big ones."

Let's see what else he had to say about his current game - and then take a closer look at his Major prospects.

Scott on leaving the Open downbeat

"That was kind of rock bottom of frustration for me with everything. Up to that point, it had been a challenging season of golf for me. I put so much into my career and sacrifice a lot of things, including time at home, to do this and I just wasn't getting the results.

"It's a result-based kind of industry or profession that I'm in. I found those bad returns very frustrating. The whole major season had passed me by. I came away empty-handed and I was disappointed."

Scott on bouncing back

"Just after, I got a good rest and I could see a couple of things changing. Actually, equipment-wise that week, it was starting to feel good even though I didn't get the results that week. I feel like I'm much more calm and certainly feeling more optimistic about things than five months ago."

The future

"There will be a slight change to my schedule, a bit like I used to do when I was younger. Starting the year in the Middle East and then coming to America a little later in the year.

"I love playing golf. If you starve me of competition and the opportunity of playing for a little bit, you come out very hungry. Our season is very long and, as you get older, you have to make that time off somehow. Unfortunately, that sometimes means sacrificing playing events and falling well off the pace. Your goals have to change, too, and the focus doesn't become the season, it becomes certain events."

The Masters

It was, of course, at Augusta National that Scott made his Major Championship breakthrough and the concern is that the win in 2013 came straight off the back of two top 10s in the Masters.

In eight appearances since then, he has recorded just one top 10 and that was tied ninth back in 2017. He also hasn't broken 73 in his last five laps at Augusta and averages 74.40 across them.

The PGA Championship

He has a solid record in this championship (six top 10s in 21 starts), with a pair of tied thirds his best efforts.

This year's event heads to Southern Hills Country Club in Oklahoma. It's a classic, tree-lined test and the good news is that Scott's five best efforts in this event (all top eights) were on similar layouts.

He's also a past winner at Colonial Country Club which, like Southern Hills, was designed by Perry Maxwell. Add in that Oklahoma is, like Texas, blustery and the Aussie (who loves playing in Texas because of those winds) might fancy his chances.

The US Open

The undeniable weak spot of his Major Championship CV with just one top five in 20 starts (he has eight in 62 at the other Majors).

Incredibly, he has never once been in the top 10 with 18 holes to play in the championship so it would be something of a surprise if anything changes in his 40s.

The Open

In truth, of course, Scott really should have won the Open at Royal Lytham & St Anne's in 2012. He led by four shots with four holes to play and contrived to finish clear second, not even forcing a play-off.

He followed that effort with three more top 10s in a row, but each time he ended the week further from the top: tied third in 2013, tied fifth in 2014 and T10th in 2015.

Since then he has three times failed to break the top 40 and has a best of T17th at Carnoustie.

He's experienced playing an Open at The Old Course, but is yet to suggest he can win there. With results reading MC in 2000, T34th in 2005, T27th in 2010, T10th in 2015 he is, at least, improving every time he visits.

Conclusion

The PGA Championship looks his best chance in the Majors but, keeping those thoughts about playing fresh in mind, maybe also consider him in his first start of the year.

READ MORE: When Adam Scott blew an 'unassailable' lead at the 2012 British Open

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