How Will Being the New World No. 1 Affect Adam Scott?

Mike DudurichContributor IMay 15, 2014

Adam Scott tries to will a putt in at the Masters.
Adam Scott tries to will a putt in at the Masters.David J. Phillip/Associated Press

Becoming the No. 1 player in the world is a lofty goal for every youngster who picks up a golf club.

Adam Scott is no different than any other golfer in that regard. Being the best in the world in anything is a special achievement and deserves every accolade given.

According to, when next week's Official World Golf Ranking comes out, Scott's name will be at the top of the list for the first time.

And yes, this will be another instance when the move to No. 1 is accomplished despite the guy doing the moving being no where near the site of this week's tournament.

The fact that Scott will be No. 1 next week through the vagaries of the ranking system will cause plenty of conversation among fans. More importantly is how Scott's new place on golf's totem pole will affect his play.

I'm thinking it will have very little, if any, effect on Scott's game.

Rickie Fowler, Adam Scott make a colorful pair.
Rickie Fowler, Adam Scott make a colorful pair.Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Scott is not a kid. He's 33 years old, has been an elite player for a number of years, has won big events and has a golf swing his competition would spend a lot of money to have.

The great swing eliminates one of the big mistakes players have made in the past after they rose to the top. David Duval did some swing tinkering not long after achieving the top spot, which, along with the megaforce known as Tiger Woods, made his reign a short one.

Rory McIlroy not only tinkered with his swing, he incorporated a bag full of new clubs and suffered greatly, falling from the top spot and enduring a struggle that has continued to see him attempt to get his game back to the championship level it was in 2011.

That's not going to be an issue for Scott. He seems as content as he could possibly be with his life. Scott married his longtime girlfriend, Swedish architect Marie Kojzar, just after the Masters.

He's only played in seven PGA Tour events in 2014 but has three top 10s and has earned over $1 million thus far. But his light schedule is by design. Like Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and the other elite players in golf, he's sculpting when and where he plays to be at his very best for the major championships.

Now that he's won one major, Scott wants more. And that's what driving him.

''I think it's (being No. 1 the world) a nice feather in the cap,'' Scott told golf writer Doug Ferguson in a story published just after the Players Championship.

''I mean, if I was never world No. 1 when I'm this close, I'd be disappointed. But I'd also much rather win the U.S. Open and not be No. 1 at all this year. That's what it comes down to.''

Don't expect the crown to sit heavily on the head of Scott. The players know that the No. 1 ranking doesn't necessarily mean that player is the best player in the world.

And that would explain why Tiger Woods has maintained that spot even though he's played very little this year. Woods was awesome last year, winning five times, and the rankings are based on the best performance over the latest two-year period.

Is this the face of golf in the future?
Is this the face of golf in the future?USA TODAY Sports

It would seem to me that a bigger concern for Scott might be trying to squeeze as many victories out of his anchored stroke-long putter combo before the new anchored-stroke ruling takes place in 2016.

He won his only major championship, the 2013 Masters, with the long putter and was criticized for doing so with that long stick. He's won only once since the Masters, providing more ammunition for those who believe it's not so much the stick but the guy wielding it.

Scott has done some time practicing with a conventional putter in hopes that he'll be proficient with it when the time comes to change. There will no doubt be angst in 2016 for Scott, as well as the other PGA Tour players who use the anchored stroke.

But Scott will continue his quest for major titles and aim to play well enough to maintain his spot atop the golf world. If he does, then it will make a nice subject for conversations.

If he doesn't, he'll still be chasing major titles.