Adam Scott is daring to dream of overtaking childhood idol Greg Norman as Australia’s most prolific US PGA Tour winner after his victory at the Genesis Invitational in Los Angeles.
Scott’s two-shot triumph at Riviera Country Club, in a field that included nine of the world’s top 10 players, gave him his 14th official US Tour title.
As well as a three-year tour exemption and $US1.674m ($A2.49m) in prize money, the win earned Scott a new world ranking of No 7 – his first time inside the top 10 since June 2017.
Approaching his 40th birthday in July, Scott is now equal with Bruce Crampton for third-most wins by an Australian on the PGA Tour behind Norman (20) and Jim Ferrier (18).
The win in his first event of 2020 ended a US tour title drought of almost four years but the former world No 1 feels he has ushered in a new chapter and his best may lie ahead.
“It’d be great to be up there in that discussion; Greg [Norman] was my idol growing up and his list of accomplishments was so long that if you get close to any of them, it’s fantastic,” Scott told AAP.
“Hopefully, this is the first step in a multiple-win year. There’s a lot of golf ahead of me with some great opportunities. I need to make the most of that moving forward and if, one day, I get up to [Norman’s] level it’d be incredibly satisfying.”
Scott’s title tally does not include his play-off victory at Riviera in 2005 because the event was shortened to 36-holes due to rain.
On Sunday, starting as joint overnight leader, he carded a one-under 70 on a difficult course to win at 11-under from Matt Kuchar (72), Sung Kang (69) and Scott Brown (68) who tied second.
While Norman’s tour-wins tally is a fair way off, Scott’s biggest and most immediate priority is to join the Australian great as a two-times major winner. He contended in three of the four big ones last year and the chance to replicate his historic 2013 Masters triumph in April is the main focus.
“Today goes a long way and I’m excited about Augusta; the mission is to keep myself in form for the next eight weeks,” Scott said. “My big goal is to be a multiple major winner and I think the habit of winning is good for that.”
Before Sunday, Scott’s previous win on the US tour came 1442 days ago at the World Golf Championships event in March 2016. His first win worldwide since then came at the Australian PGA Championship in December.
“For a couple years [the title drought] weighed on my mind; it was frustrating and I was pushing myself very hard and in the wrong direction,” Scott said.
Now, he is inspired to go on another run like when he won five times in a three-year stretch.
“The next five years can be my best years on tour,” Scott said. “However, that’s easy to say but very hard to do, because there are so many great players.”
Scott’s countryman Marc Leishman (74) finished tied 43rd at Riviera, while tournament host Woods shot 77 to finish last among the 68 golfers who made the cut.