05 Jan 2023 | Professional golf |
Aussies On Tour - Scott opens 2023 campaign in Hawaii
by Australian Golf Media
By Tony Webeck
Social rounds on the Sunshine Coast have kept Adam Scott’s game in check as he kicks off his 2023 campaign at the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii.
Entering his 24th season as a professional, the 42-year-old is the lone Australian playing at the Plantation Course at Kapalua this week, just his second appearance at the idyllic island locale since 2014.
His place in the field comes by virtue of playing his way into the PGA TOUR’s 30-player Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club last September. That was achieved courtesy of back-to-back top-five finishes in the first two FedEx Cup Playoff events, form that he carried into the back-end of the year.
He was tied for sixth at the notoriously tough Japan Open, tied 28th in his return home to Queensland at the Fortinet Australian PGA Championship and was then runner-up to Adrian Meronk at the ISPS HANDA Australian Open in Melbourne.
He has kept his game sharp on the Sunshine Coast over the Christmas break, making a guest appearance at the Living Choice Australian Legends Tour Championship at Headland Golf Club and playing social rounds at Caloundra and Mt Coolum golf clubs.
Scott’s last PGA TOUR win – the 2020 Genesis Invitational – came in his first start after winning the 2019 Australian PGA at Royal Pines and he likes the state of his game ahead of a new-look PGA TOUR season.
“Finishing off the year well and making the Tour Championship kind of set my schedule really nicely for this year,” said Scott.
“I’ve always got a focus on the major championships, so having a schedule pretty well set is a nice thing. I can plan around that very well with travel, with practice, training, the whole bit.
“Especially coming out of these COVID years, they didn’t work so well for me on Tour. I didn’t perform very well.
“I feel like I’ve taken my game back up to kind of where it’s ready to compete at the top level in the big events.
“That’s exciting for me because I’m getting a little bit older, and how many years at the top level, I don’t know. But I feel like I’m there this year, and I’m looking forward to that.”
Making his eighth start in the tournament which equals Justin Thomas for the most in the field, Scott’s best result is second behind Vijay Singh in 2007 and has a total of four top-10 finishes.
Scott is seeking to add to Australia’s successful history at Kapalua, 2022 champion Cameron Smith unable to defend due to his move to LIV Golf.
The PGA TOUR will transition back to a calendar-year schedule (beginning in 2024), with the core FedEx Cup season contested from January to August. In preparation, 2023 will introduce 17 designated events with elevated purses and commitments from the TOUR’s top players.
The Sentry Tournament of Champions marks the first, which also includes THE PLAYERS Championship, all four major championships and the FedEx Cup Playoffs (with reduced fields of 70-50-30).
The Sentry Tournament of Champions will award 550 FedEx Cup points to the winner (up from 500 in 2022) and a purse of $US15 million.
Round 1 tee times AEDT
Sentry Tournament of Champions Plantation Course at Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii 7.25am Adam Scott, Sahith Theegala
Defending champion: Cameron Smith Past Aussie winners: Steve Elkington (1992, 1995), Stuart Appleby (2004, 2005, 2006), Geoff Ogilvy (2009, 2010), Cameron Smith (2022) TV times: Live 6am-2pm Friday, Saturday; Live 8am-12pm Sunday; Live 8am-12.30pm Monday on Fox Sports 503 and Kayo Sports.
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