Adam Scott is excited to be back playing in front of his home crowd at the Australian PGA Championship this week, as the local favourite prepares to tee it up in his own backyard on the Gold Coast.
The 2013 winner of the Green Jacket, who won this event in 2013 and finished outright third last year, will join fellow Masters Champion Sergio Garcia at RACV Royal Pines and is looking forward to playing a course he believes has matured well since it’s redesign in 2015.
The ten-time European Tour winner admits his focus on golf this year has shifted in periods with the arrival of his second child, however, the former Major champion is hoping a win at home could be the catalyst in bringing back the form that saw him reach World Number One in 2014.
Scott is joined in the field by World Number 13 Marc Leishman, who was bestowed Australian golf’s most prestigious individual honour – the Greg Norman Medal – upon his return to the country last night at a ceremony on the Gold Coast. The 34 year old is the highest ranked Australian in the field and is aiming to add a second European Tour title to his name having won the 2016 Nedbank Golf Challenge.
Meanwhile, his fellow countryman Wade Ormsby returns home after a dramatic final day of play in Fanling which saw him claim his maiden European Tour title at the UBS Hong Kong Open last week.The Australian is hoping to keep his energy levels in check when he tees it up alongside Garcia and Scott tomorrow morning, and believes he is ready to get back in the hunt and chase another European Tour victory, this time on home soil.
Adam Scott: “I’m very happy to be back here on the Gold Coast playing this week in front of a bit of a home crowd. A very exciting event I think having Sergio (Garcia) come down coming off his Masters win, a fantastic year, and he’s just one of those guys who brings so much to a tournament and I think golf fans down here will really appreciate that. I’ve played well the last few times around here at Royal Pines and I’m looking forward to this week.
“There’s a lot of grass out there this week, which is very nice, we get really good lies, but it’s playing long. It’s not firm and fiery at all, so it’s going to play very long this week. That’s certainly going to suit some of the guys in the field and not others but it’s settling in. I’m very happy with the shape of the course this year.
“It’s been a fantastic year for me. I guess very exciting last few months with my family and having a new baby and all the good things that come with that. I guess that’s been the focus of the year for me really. It was a lot of planning around that.
“It wasn’t so much the playing less. I’m kind of known as a bit of a part time golfer anyway out there. It was probably just the less practice this year. You know, the priorities just had to shift a little bit. I travelled a lot more and practiced a bit less and they were the challenges.
“The first half of the year I played okay but didn’t get much out of it, I mean really the focus hasn’t been on the golf at all and that shows up when you’re going to play in world class fields, there’s no doubt. It’s good for me to see that because it’s very clear for me going back next year exactly what I need to do to remind myself what I’ve done for the past five or six years to play at the level that these guys at the top are playing at, and I really look forward to getting back into those kinds of routines that I’ve been in over the past few years that have produced great golf.”
Marc Leishman: “I feel like I’ve been playing well for a few years now and just haven’t getting close more frequently but not winning. So to get a couple of wins on the board this year was just really satisfying. I’ve known I’ve been a good player for a long time but just haven’t been able to get on a really good run and put stretches of good tournaments together and this year I did that, which was really pleasing.
“The course is great. I think this is going to be the fourth time I’ve played it at Royal Pines. It just seems to be getting better and better every year. The grasses are really coming in and the greens are pretty receptive this year, which is good. The course is in the best condition I’ve seen it and it’s setting up for a really good week for the whole field.”
Wade Ormsby: “You never know when it is going to be your day but you try to get it in your head that this is going to be the day. I just wanted to stay in the hunt and give myself a chance with a few to go, and all of a sudden with about five to go I felt like I had a really good chance, and to finish it off was a massive relief. It was special to win.
“I don’t want to put my expectations too far up there, obviously the game is in good shape and I have played well around this golf course before, so I will just try and enjoy it. I am the kind of guy that wants to get back in the hunt straight away, but I am really trying to keep it under control, so if I can get myself somewhere with a chance on the weekend we will see what comes from there.”