Breaking Down the Good, Bad and Ugly of Adam Scott's Game

Mike DudurichContributor IFebruary 1, 2013

Breaking Down the Good, Bad and Ugly of Adam Scott's Game

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    Adam Scott has it all. He’s tall, fit and handsome. He has a great golf swing that he uses in concert with his immense talent.

    But, like every other golfer, it’s not all good.

    He obviously doesn’t have as many flaws as a lot of those who play the game for a living, but he’s not perfect.

    Here’s a look at Adam Scott: the good, bad and ugly.

The Good

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    To be succinct, the best part of Adam Scott’s game is his swing.

    How good is it? Well, it’s patterned after another swing that was pretty good back in 2000, the one belonging to Tiger Woods. That swing has served him well and has been compared many times to that of Woods.

    Combine that swing with the innate talent Scott obviously has, and it’s easy to see why he’s had the success he has.

    Scott has eight wins on both the PGA and European Tours and a total of 19 professional victories.

    After winning the Players Championship in 2004, he was all but crowned as the next great one, a player who would pile up victories, including major championships.

    He’s been successful, obviously, winning over $28 million in his career, the 14th best total in that category.

    Scott won the Tour Championship in 2006 and the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational in 2011. The last two years, he’s finished in the top 10 of a major four times.

    Look at his stats. Ball-striking, driving distance, overall driving and scoring average all are strong evidence of why he deserves to be ranked sixth in the latest World Golf Rankings.

The Bad

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    In 2004, the year he won the Players, he ranked first in the strokes gained putting category.

    To show how fickle the game—especially the flat stick—can be, in 2005 he started a steady drop in putting rank: 102nd, 149th and all the way down to 186th in 2010.

    While there are all sorts of factors, Scott’s putting probably cost him shots at several more victories, including that elusive major title.

    "My putting with the short putter was so hot and cold and before I switched it was more often cold than hot," he admitted at the 2012 Open Championship.

    "It was always frustrating to play well and get nothing out of a round. Certainly, making the adjustment (to a long putter he started using in 2011) took a little bit of time, but it was effective once I brought it out on tour. I'm much more consistent and that has a really positive effect on the rest of my game."

    He also overcame a knee injury during that time, and, as he became more comfortable with the long putter, his confidence and status rose as well.

    "My putting has improved out of sight," he said after shooting an opening round 64 in last year’s Open. "Two years ago I was 180th on the tour and now I'm pretty good. Better than average, I would say. So that's a big difference. A shot or two on average makes a big difference to my scorecard."

    Indeed, since March 2011, he’s had 17 top 10 finishes, proving just how much a shot or two off the card can mean.

The Ugly

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    Sunday, July 22, 2012.

    Final round of the Open Championship. His Open Championship.

    The one he had firmly in his grasp.

    Stepping onto the 15th tee with a four-shot lead, all Adam Scott had to do was make pars and make somebody come get him.

    Considering the way he had played the first 68 holes in the tournament, four pars certainly didn’t seem to be out of the question.

    He had putted the ball exquisitely with the long putter, kept the ball in the fairway off the tees for the most part and had been doing just fine hitting greens in regulation, too.

    But his triumphant march through the final holes at Royal Lytham & St. Annes slowly became a torturous trip to the finish line.

    Shots that were just off their intended targets, decisions that were just a tiny bit questionable and putts that just missed doomed Scott from shedding that unwanted tag of “Best Player to Have Not Won a Major.”

    All logic says there will be other situations where Scott will fulfill all the hype that has surrounded him since his youth.

    He has everything needed to be dominant like countryman Greg Norman.

    But he’ll need to somehow shake the images of the ugliest day of his career—the day that ended with Ernie Els accepting the Claret Jug that Scott thought he had earned.