Adam Scott Was Once My PGA Hero, but Now He's My Biggest Disappointment

Will Leivenberg@@will_leivenbergFeatured ColumnistOctober 6, 2009

VERONA, NY - OCTOBER 03: Adam Scott of Australia walks off the 17th tee box during the third round of the 2009 Turning Stone Resort Championship at Atunyote Golf Club held on October 3, 2009 in Verona, New York.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

I used to go on YouTube, type in "Adam Scott/swing," and then be mesmerized watching his gorgeous swing about five times in slow motion. I would then get my seven-iron and stand in front of a mirror trying to mimic his incredible mechanics.

Recently, not so much.

Honestly, what happened to this guy? Wasn't it just a few years ago that he was seen as Tiger's biggest challenger? I may sound pessimistic now, but my optimism was once unending for Scott and it has never paid off.

In fact, I have defended him, chose him in online fantasy golf, and received no pay-off. There was something extremely likable and inspiring about him, probably his intense gaze as he held his picture-perfect finish.

But beyond that gaze and his alluring Rolex commercials, what went wrong? Throughout the last five years it was obvious that he had length, had accuracy, and had the drive, but that his putting was his primary Achilles' heal.

But as one of his greatest supporters, I figured that, considering his profession was excelling at the highest level in the game of golf, he would find a productive route to extinguish his putting woes and gradually improve those skills through both his technique and his touch.

I have been patient, but don't know how much more patience I have. Today Scott ranks No. 99 on the PGA Tour—a shame to his name—after spending multiple years ranked in the top 10 and being considered an intimidating, talented player.

Only in the categories of "driving distance" (No. 39) and "total driving" (No. 99) is Scott ranked in the top 100 on the PGA Tour. But these don't concern me as much as the most important stats on tour: "putting" (No. 183) and "birdies" (No. 136).

The two major differences between solid amateur players and PGA Tour professionals is without a doubt the disparity on and around the greens. Reasons behind this are wide and diverse, but the point is that for a long time, Scott's driving and iron game appeared like that of a PGA pro and his putting that of an amateur.

However, in this 2009 season, he just looked like an amateur. He became the player on television that I would watch hit balls OB, miss three-footers, and hit it to the front of the green on a tucked back pin, making me think to myself, "well I could do that. Can I play on the PGA Tour?"

And you know what else I could do like Adam Scott? Miss cuts for majors.

In 2009, Scott missed the cut for the British Open, Masters, and PGA Championship. I am aware that the major courses are the most difficult on tour, not just because of the arduous conditions, but mainly because players are inundated with unrelenting pressure surrounding the event.

But these are also the events that call for a distinct kind of preparation—mentally and physically. Some players emerge during majors with a unique sense of motivation and desire.

There is something palpably different about the way these players watch their ball drop in the hole or stride across the fairway during majors—they rise to the occasion. And while I personally noticed these qualities flare up in players like Sean O'Hair, Kenny Perry, and Hunter Mahan, Scott seemed unaware that these events were at the foundation of the PGA's historical significance.

Maybe this was a rebuilding year for Scott. Perhaps he had an injury that inhibited his capacity to do anything worthy of acclaim. Whatever it was, 2009 was flat-out rough for Adam Scott. And as negative as I have been, and as depressed as Scott's play has made me, I hope Scott has not forgotten that he has the potential to be the best player in the world.