Adam Scott confirmed he will contest the Australian Open in November, and try to expunge the memory of letting slip victory to Rory McIlroy last year in Sydney.
Scott was the reigning Masters champion when he teed it up at Royal Sydney last December.
He had captured the Australian PGA and Australian Masters titles, and was looking to become only the second player behind fellow Australian Robert Allenby to capture the ‘Big Three’ of Australian golf.
Scott contested the final round alongside McIlroy and was a shot clear coming up the last hole when he sent his second shot horribly over the back of the green.
Scott — to the dismay of the patriotically partisan crowd — took three shots to get down for a bogey while McIlroy holed out for a birdie to win by a stroke and post his first and only victory of 2013.
McIlroy had already confirmed he would defend his title at The Australian Club on November 27-30, and world No.2 Scott indicated he felt he had a score to settle at the Jack Nicklaus-redesigned course — if only with himself.
“I finished such an amazing month on such a disappointing note, and the result just gutted me for weeks in not winning the Australian Open,” Scott said as he prepared to defend at The Barclays this week in suburban New York.
“So I will be going back there with a chip on my shoulder.
“I don’t often get upset but I was really mad at myself because I was absolutely gutted in not being able to win last year.
“So I will be playing at The Australian Club with real intent to make amends for what happened at Royal Sydney.”
While it’s evident last year’s result still rankles, Scott praised McIlroy’s decision to defend the title, and in doing so seek to become just the third non-Australian born player along with Nicklaus and Gary Player to successfully defend the Stonehaven Trophy.
“It’s great that Rory has decided to return to defend his title and all credit to him because after the season he’s had this year it will be huge for golf in Australia he’s decided to return,” Scott said of McIlroy, who captured his third and fourth major titles this year at the British Open and PGA championship — with a World Golf Championships victory sandwiched between for good measure.
“He could easily be at home in Northern Ireland getting ready for Christmas,” Scott said.
“So Rory is doing Aussie golf a huge favour and it’s great the hottest guy in golf is going to come back down to Sydney and it’s good Australian golf is attracting that talent as it will be two years in a row we’re going to have one of the best players there is.”