Monday, December 18, 2017
Sports

Scott stressing precollapse excellence

KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. — Adam Scott's tee shot on the 12th hole at the Ocean Course sailed down the middle of the fairway, and he started walking toward his ball alongside his playing partner — Ernie Els.

So much for forgetting about that British Open.

Less than a month after gifting Els a major championship with a late collapse at Royal Lytham & St. Annes, Scott practiced with him Wednesday, a day before the start of the PGA Championship. The 32-year-old Aussie is hoping for a better finish at Kiawah Island, but he isn't hiding from his British Open failure.

After giving away a four-shot lead with bogeys on the last four holes, helping Els win the tournament, Scott is confident in his ability to hold on this week if he ends up in a similar spot.

"If I was in that position again, I'd feel like I'm playing pretty good, so at that point, I'd be quite confident," Scott said. "I've generally been a good closer of golf tournaments in my career. If I was in that position, I'd like to turn it around this time and close the golf tournament out."

Els sounded almost guilty after benefiting from his friend's slide. He tried to be encouraging afterward; still is, actually.

"I've known Adam since he's come out here 10 years ago, and we have got a pretty good, close relationship," Els said. "He's a good friend of the family and of mine. If he needs any help to win a major, I'll definitely give it to him. If he needs any encouragement, I'll give it to him."

As for Scott, he feels bad that his troubles took some of the joy out of Els' victory.

"It was kind of a shame, because he should have been so happy and he felt a little sorry for me, and that's not the way you want to win," Scott said. "We have spoken a couple times since, but not really about anything specific. Just being the friend he is, he just was concerned about how I was doing. I assured him that I'm doing fine and ready to get on with it."

Scott's next tournament was at Firestone last weekend. He finished tied for 45th.

No matter. He says it was a bit therapeutic to be on the course playing again.

"I think probably it took last week, getting back out and playing, to kind of shake it off fully," Scott said. "I was ready to play last week and didn't play that well and lost my rhythm slightly throughout the round with my swing. But I think now, I've got one out of the system."

Still seeking his first major champion­ship, Scott has been impressive this year, finishing tied for eighth at the Masters and tied for 15th at the U.S. Open.

His British Open looked like another step forward until his string of bogeys that culminated in a 7-foot putt he missed on No. 18 that could have forced a playoff.

"I played maybe the best golf of my career for the whole week, really," Scott said. "Unfortunately, I didn't get a win. But even with the last four holes, taking it as a whole, I played spectacular golf for such a long period of time in a major championship."

It just didn't last for all 72 holes.

. fast facts

PGA Championship

When/where: Today-Sunday, Kiawah Island, S.C.

Purse: $8 million

Defending champion: Keegan Bradley

TV: Today-Friday, 1 p.m., TNT; Saturday-Sunday, 11 a.m., TNT, and 2 p.m., Ch. 10

. fast facts

This week on Tour

PGA: PGA Championship, Kiawah Island Golf Resort, Kiawah Island, S.C. TV: Today-Friday, 1 p.m., TNT; Saturday-Sunday, 11 a.m., TNT, 2 p.m., Ch. 10.

LPGA: Jamie Farr Toledo Classic, Highland Meadows Golf Club, Sylvania, Ohio. TV: None.

Web.com: Price Cutter Charity Championship, Highland Springs Country Club, Springfield, Mo. TV: None.

Comments
Jets turn tables on Blues at home

Jets turn tables on Blues at home

WINNIPEG, Manitoba — Connor Hellebuyck was happy to have a hand in helping the Jets get some payback. Less that 24 hours after Winnipeg was shut out in St. Louis, Hellebuyck made 24 saves as the Jets returned the favor with a 4-0 victory over the Blu...
Updated: 4 hours ago

Monday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYCollege basketballHouston Baptist at Michigan State6 p.m.Big TenNorthern Arizona at USF7 p.m.820-AMNebraska-Omaha at Kansas7 p.m.ESPN2Charleston Southern at FSU7 p.m.ESPNU; 1010-AMNorthern Illinois at Marquette7 p.m.FS1Purdue-Fort Wayne at India...
Updated: 4 hours ago

PITTSBURGH — The Patriots have built a dynasty on second chances. Miss an opportunity to bury the Super Bowl champions and they will find a way to find a way, usually behind a mix of Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski and defensive playmaking at just the r...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Bucs-Falcons: Things to watch in Monday’s 8:30 p.m. game

Bucs-Falcons: Things to watch in Monday’s 8:30 p.m. game

TAMPA — The Bucs and Falcons have each won three straight games on Monday nights as they face each other on a national platform tonight at Raymond James Stadium.How can Tampa Bay continue its streak and stop Atlanta’s? It won’t be easy, but given the...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Bucs fans call for Jon Gruden — why was he fired to begin with?

Bucs fans call for Jon Gruden — why was he fired to begin with?

TAMPA — The beers and the "love ya, bros" were flowing Saturday night at the Hooters in Tampa. Jon Gruden, who will be inducted into the Bucs Ring of Honor at halftime of tonight’s home game against the Falcons, worked the room, greeting family, frie...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Fennelly: Jon Gruden was one hard-working bro

Fennelly: Jon Gruden was one hard-working bro

TAMPA — It’s ridiculous that it took this long to give Jon Gruden a night all his own, given the nights he gave Bucs fans. But it will happen this evening at Raymond James Stadium, a salute to the thermonuclear source of that Super Bowl season, that ...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Last-minute run rallies UNC past Vols

Last-minute run rallies UNC past Vols

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — North Carolina passed the kind of road challenge it wanted to face before starting Atlantic Coast Conference competition. Kenny Williams sank a go-ahead 3-pointer with 35 seconds left as the seventh-ranked Tar Heels rallied past No...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Lightning has goalie Peter Budaj’s back after near-collapse

Lightning has goalie Peter Budaj’s back after near-collapse

LAS VEGAS — After the Avalanche made a seemingly insurmountable Lightning lead shaky Saturday night, defenseman Victor Hedman was the first to skate toward backup goalie Peter Budaj and give an encouraging pat on the pads with his stick.Budaj’s stat ...
Updated: 6 hours ago

NFL playoff chase

Playoff chaseNFCPos. Team Rec Div ConfDivision leaders1. Eagles-E-* 12-2 5-0 10-12. Vikings-N-z 11-3 3-1 8-23. Rams-W 10-4 4-1 7-44. Saints-S 10-4 3-1 7-3Wild card5. Panthers 10-4 2-2 6-46. Falcons 8-5 2-1 7-2Contention7. Lions 8-6 4-1 7-48. Seahawks...
Updated: 6 hours ago
David Lee: From ending ugly streaks to title to love match

David Lee: From ending ugly streaks to title to love match

David Lee has not played a home game at Madison Square Garden for nearly eight years, but the memories don’t soon fade once a player has inhaled the rarefied air of life as a Knicks fan favorite. Lee knows this better than most.One stubborn example: ...
Updated: 6 hours ago