Australian golfer Scott headed back home ‘for the love of the game’

Adam Scott will celebrate his Australian homecoming during a month-long series down under, writes Steve Elling.

Australia’s Adam Scott finished in the top five at three majors in 2013 including a win at the Masters. Kevin Cox / AFP
Powered by automated translation

If Adam Scott had become an artiste in a different medium, he surely would have been a minimalist.

Sparse and spartan are better. Substance over style. Even his personality is a bit understated.

For the past few years, as the world’s second-ranked player has trimmed back his schedule in an attempt to emphasise quality over quantity, he dropped his European Tour membership and culled events from his PGA Tour itinerary.

Nobody can argue the results. He could have won the Masters and British Open last year, and when he finally broke through in April to become the first Australian to win at Augusta National, a country of 23 million all but erupted en masse.

It took seven months, but Scott is finally getting a chance to take a bow before fans down under, who are sure to embrace him as warmly as the famed green jacket itself.

There will be no ticker-tape parades or regattas in Sydney Harbour — definitely not his style — but Scott will be on display nonetheless in a month-long series of events that will make him even more of national hero.

In perhaps the most magnanimous decision of the year, Scott returned home to serve as the centrepiece in what has been dubbed the Summer of Golf, which begins today at the Australian PGA.

The run continues with the Australian Masters and Open, plus the World Cup, a two-man team event featuring many of the world’s top players, sorted by nationality. Scott, 33, signed up for all of them.

Soak it up, Australia, because this is rare fare.

“Yeah, I could have made lots more money playing in Asia, but I really want to play in Australia,” Scott told the Australian broadcast journalist Luke Elvy.

“One of the insights into why I’ve done well recently is because I’ve taken money out of every decision I make. I’m back playing for the love of the game.”

His homecoming could be a love fest. Especially since changes to the PGA Tour schedule have made it harder than ever for top Aussies to return home for the country’s biggest events.

Scott’s streamlined US schedule has been a spectacular success. He has played in 40 official events over the past 24 months, one fewer than the semi-reclusive Tiger Woods. Yet he finished in the top five at three majors in 2013 and posted the lowest cumulative score at the grand slam events for the second straight year.

Scott’s less-is-more mindset has been optimal. But this month, to the certain adulation of thousands, he made a rightful exception.

Follow us on twitter at @SprtNationalUAE