Friday 23 February 2018

Adam Scott: I feel like the third wheel playing with Rory and Tiger

Adam Scott speaks during a news conference ahead of the 2013 US Open
Adam Scott speaks during a news conference ahead of the 2013 US Open

Phil Casey

Adam Scott admits he will be the "third wheel" when he tees off alongside Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy in the US Open, despite being the reigning Masters champion.

The USGA have paired the top three players in the world together for the first two rounds at Merion, a tradition they started in 2008 when Scott last occupied the world number three spot.

"I think anyone would have felt like the third wheel that week," recalled the 32-year-old, who played with Woods and Phil Mickelson at Torrey Pines, with Woods going on to win his 14th and most recent major title.

"The hype was enormous around that pairing. It was an experience that I'll never forget. I've never seen that many people on a Thursday morning on the first tee. It was a great atmosphere.

"I think this year obviously there's a lot of focus on Tiger and Rory. I know what to expect out there I think. I'm probably also the third wheel this week as well. That's why I'm number three in the world I guess!"

Scott arrived at Merion last Friday, when the remnants of tropical storm Andrea dumped several inches of water on the course.

More torrential rain fell on Monday, meaning the Australian is grateful for having made an earlier visit to the course three weeks ago, when he also turned golf tourist in the pro shop.

"I bought the Hogan poster in the pro shop," Scott said, a reference to the iconic image of Ben Hogan hitting a 1-iron to the 18th hole in the 1950 US Open that helped secure his place in a three-man play-off. Hogan, almost killed in a car crash 16 months earlier, went on to win the play-off the following day.

"I thought I'll buy it here because then at least it's from the place where he hit the 1-iron. It's fun stuff like that."

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