Scott finished tied for eighth at The Masters, tied for 15th at the U.S. Open and second most recently at The Open Championship. At Royal Lytham & St. Annes, of course, Scott collapsed during the final round after leading through Day 3, finishing a stroke behind Ernie Els.
Scott had a very good opening round, finishing at four-under par, but he faltered on Day 2 with several bogeys to put him at one-under par going into the weekend. He had a fantastic front nine on Saturday to jump to third place—through suspended play—and put himself in great position to win on Sunday.
Although Scott didn’t play well on Friday, he’s making it look like some of the holes he misplayed were just flukes. For example, he bogeyed the seventh hole during his second round after birdieing it the day before. On Saturday, he tapped in a short putt to birdie it. On Friday, Scott bogeyed the Par 4 ninth, but on Saturday he birdied it.
Scott’s Day 3 falters are very unlike the way he’s played over the course of the season. Five of his six bogeys on the day came on Par 4’s. He ranks sixth this year in birdies or better on Par 4’s with 78.
The issues that Scott had on Day 2 don’t seem to be reoccurring. He’s playing sound golf and getting some great rolls on the green on Day 3. If not for a horrendous second round, there’s a good chance that Scott would be the leader going into Sunday’s final round at Kiawah Island.
The fact that Scott won’t be the leader going into Day 4 is actually a good thing. We all saw how the pressure of leading through three rounds got him at The Open Championship. There’s not much pressure if you aren’t in the lead and expected to hold it.
Even with the terrible fourth round at Royal Lytham & St. Annes, Scott has actually played better in the final round than the third. In nine events this year for Scott, he’s averaged 71.77 strokes in the third round and 70.77 strokes in the fourth. There’s little reason to believe that Sunday will be any different for Scott as he enters toward the top of the leaderboard.
Scott has yet to win a tournament this year and has never won a major. He won’t be on top going into Sunday, but he will be once the final round concludes.