Can Adam Scott get over his U.S. Open woes at Pinehurst?

Streeter Lecka

While Adam Scott won the Masters and has been close at the British Open and PGA Championship, he's never been much of a contender at the U.S. Open. Will this be the year that changes?

It's been an eventful 15 months for Adam Scott. Long established as one of the best players on The PGA Tour, Scott's career has taken the next step toward superstardom in the last year and a half. Now, heading into the U.S Open, he has a prime opportunity to join some elite company.

If Scott kept a checklist of goals he wanted to accomplish in his career, he's been busy checking boxes recently. He captured the first major championship at the 2013 Masters, climbed to the top of the Official World Golf Rankings in May and even recently got married.

Scott is no longer on the list of best players without a major championship on their resume. At Pinehurst, he could join the list of multiple major winners. While 210 players have won a major championship, only 78 have won multiple majors. Scott has a chance to make that 79 and join Peter Thomson, Greg Norman and David Graham as the only Australians with multiple major victories.

Record at Pinehurst No. 2

Scott will be making his second appearance at Pinehurst No. 2, having played in the 2005 U.S. Open. He finished in a tie for 28th that year at 11-over. Scott started well, opening 70-71 to head into the weekend at 1-over and in a tie for 10th place. The weekend wasn't as kind, as he dropped out of contention with a 74 on Saturday and followed it up with a final-round 76. Scott had most of his issues on the front nine, playing it at 7-over during the week. He bogeyed No. 6 in three of his four rounds and played six of the opening nine holes over par. His best hole was No. 4, which he played at 2-under during the week.

While he carded too many bogeys, Scott did do a good job of avoiding major issue. He didn't card anything worse than a bogey, finishing the week with 41 pars, 10 birdies and 21 bogeys.

Recent form

Scott is in terrific form heading into the first round. He's notched eight top-25s in nine events, including five top-10s. His strong play allowed him to claim the No. 1 spot in the Official World Golf Rankings; he then secured that position by winning The Crowne Plaza Invitational. He followed that up with a T4 finish at the Memorial. Scott ranks in the top-25 on Tour in greens in regulation (25), strokes gained - putting (15), scoring average (5) and sand save percentage (3). He's been one of the better putters from distance on Tour this season, which could be a key to this week, where many players will play to the center of the green on the very tricky Donald Ross greens. It would be hard for Scott to be in much better form heading into the second major of the year.

U.S. Open career

Scott has never been especially strong at the U.S. Open, missing the cut in six of his 12 appearances. He's finished inside the top 20 just once -- a tie for 15 finish in 2012 -- and finished tied for 45th last year. Scott has played 36 U.S. Open rounds in his career, shooting under par just twice. He has more rounds in the 80s (two) than he does in the 60s (one). Scott is a combined 121-over in 12 U.S. Open appearances, averaging to slightly less than 11-over per appearance. Fortunately for Scott, a lot of players don't shoot under par at the U.S. Open. Hovering around par, like he did in 2012 when he shot 76, 70, 70, 70, might be enough to be in contention on Sunday.

Odds this week

Scott is one of the favorites this week with his 12/1 odds second to only Rory McIlroy at 10/1, according to Bovada. Scott was tied for the second-best odds last year, although that was with 20/1 odds. His 2014 odds are the highest his U.S. Open odds have been. He was a 33/1 favorite in 2012.

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