Scott makes return to Australia in 4 tournaments
BRISBANE, Australia (AP)
Adam Scott will be playing in Australia for the first time since his breakthrough win at the U.S. Masters in April when he kicks off a whirlwind four-tournament schedule in November.
The country's three premier tournaments - the PGA, Masters and Open - will be played over four weeks along with the World Cup.
Scott, the first Australian to wear the green jacket at Augusta, headlines the field at the PGA beginning next week on the Gold Coast, joined by Americans Brandt Snedeker and Rickie Fowler.
It's the first time the PGA has been staged at the Royal Pines layout. The tournament moved from its home of more than a decade at Coolum after the resort's owner turned part of it into a dinosaur theme park.
Then it's on to Royal Melbourne, where Scott will defend his Australian Masters title and then join Jason Day on the Australian team at the World Cup of Golf, also at the famed sandbelt course.
The Australian Open, with Rory McIlroy joining Scott and Day, begins Nov. 28 at Royal Sydney to conclude the compacted schedule of marquee events on the Australasian PGA Tour.
The big buzz is over Scott, whose win over Angel Cabrera on the second playoff hole at Augusta sent Australia into days of celebration.
''Australia is a proud sporting nation, and this is one notch in the belt we never got,'' Scott said moments after his win.
His arrival back in Australia was not lost on Snedeker.
''I think everyone was happy for Adam, not just Australians, but everyone around the world because he's such a popular guy and he really deserved to win that tournament,'' Snedeker said.
''So it's good to have him getting back home and showing off that green jacket to everyone back in Australia. I'm sure he's as excited and proud as they are.''
Australasian PGA Tour officials said Tuesday that some media are travelling from the U.S., and specifically from Augusta, to cover Scott's homecoming at the PGA. Scott, who grew up on the Gold Coast, will be given the keys to the city and spectators will be encouraged to wear green for Friday's second round.
A week later, Scott will defend the yellow jacket he won last year at Melbourne's Kingston Heath. This year at Royal Melbourne, he'll be joined by Matt Kuchar, Vijay Singh and Zimbabwean Brendon de Jonge, a member of the International Team at the Presidents Cup this year.
Marc Leishman, who played with Scott in the final round at Augusta, is also entered in the Australian Masters, along with Geoff Ogilvy, who is trying to recover from a recent stretch of indifferent form on the PGA Tour.
Scott and Day's team foes at the World Cup will include Americans Gary Woodland and Kuchar in the Nov. 21-24 event that will feature individual stroke-play competition with a team component - total scores of two-man teams. The format used will be similar to that used when golf makes its return to the Olympics in 2016 at Rio de Janeiro.
The Australian Open will also have a more international flavor this year, being the first qualifying event for next July's British Open at Royal Liverpool.
On Monday, Royal and Ancient chief executive Peter Dawson announced that The Open Championship would move away from 36-hole qualifying events, instead using 10 tournaments from five continents to determine 32 spots in the field for Liverpool. Three players can qualify from the Australian Open.
Scott's return to Australia will coincide with a far different golf revival for Jarrod Lyle.
The Australian Masters will mark a return to competitive play for Lyle for the first time in 18 months after the popular Australian golfer's recovery from his second bout with leukemia.
Lyle told local media two months ago as he worked his way up to playing full rounds again that he hopes to be inspired by his 21-month-old daughter Lusi, who was born shortly after his second bout of cancer was diagnosed and his chemotherapy sessions began.
''For me, that's probably going to be the biggest thing: having her there, at a golf tournament, watching her dad try to play some golf again,'' Lyle said. ''It'd be nice for Lusi to be there and just run onto the green and catch me before I fall over after 18 holes.''