Scott thanks Norman for Players victory
It has probably taken a little longer than many expected but Adam Scott, at the age of 23, has finally won a serious golf tournament.
The studiously quiet Australian, who loves to read biographies, survived a few anxious moments at the final hole before sealing his second PGA Tour title at The Players Championship in Florida on Sunday.
Already tipped as a future world number one by compatriot and twice major winner Greg Norman, Scott became the youngest winner of the event widely regarded as the 'fifth major', which each year assembles the strongest field in the game.
At one point four clear in the final round, Scott had to hole a 10-foot putt on the 18th green to secure victory by a shot after he had struck his six-iron approach into water.
He duly delivered, but said later he would never have got up and down from just off the green had he not received a chipping tutorial from Norman earlier in the week.
"I think it's pretty cool, and I think I definitely owe Greg a beer," Scott told reporters of his Wednesday practice session with Norman at the TPC at Sawgrass.
"He really changed my technique. I probably would have lost the tournament, to be honest with you, if I was chipping the same way as I did earlier in the week.
"I definitely made the most out of that chipping lesson, and the times I was in trouble this week I got out and it made a big difference, definitely a few shots in it."
What made it even sweeter for Scott was that Norman has always been his greatest idol in the game.
"I think he's made me into who I am, and he showed me when I was a kid watching him on TV how to carry yourself out here on the golf course," he said.
"He did a great job of that, and he was a great role model for every kid in Australia."
The Norman-Scott relationship has changed greatly over the past year, however, with the mentor now doffing his cap in his pupil's direction.
"I think he's technically better than Tiger Woods was at 23," Norman told reporters during The Players Championship.
"He just needs a bit of confidence, a couple of victories under his belt, and he can be doing what Tiger has done in the last three, four, five years.
"I really believe that. He can eclipse all of us, I guess."
Scott, four times a winner on the European Tour, signalled his rich promise on the PGA Tour early last year when he lost to eventual winner Woods over 20 holes in the semi-finals of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship at La Costa.
He cemented that promise with a maiden U.S. victory at the Deutsche Bank Championship in September and now appears ready to challenge in the majors.
The big-hitting Scott is coached by Butch Harmon, who previously advised world number one Woods on his own swing, and the similarity between the two players is uncanny.
Probably the only chink left in Scott's game is an occasional lack of confidence, but this is something he believes he is resolving.
"I'm definitely getting better," he said. "And I think the Match Play a year or so ago, that semi-final match with Tiger, was key.
"I'm not afraid to go play these guys now."
Scott proved that eloquently at Sawgrass on Sunday. He now needs to prove the same point in the majors.
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