PGA Championship 2018: Adam Scott glad to be back in contention at a major

Adam Scott is back in the final pairing of a major championship.

The former World No. 1, who has not won since 2016 and has fallen down to 76th in the world entering the week, is just two shots behind leader Brooks Koepka entering the final round of the PGA Championship at Bellerive Country Club.

Scott shot a second consecutive 5-under 65 Saturday to reach the final pairing. It’s the first time he’s contended in a major since 2015.

“First time in a while being really in contention, I didn’t realize until kind of on 17 that Brooks had dropped a couple shots, so I was a little hot at myself on 15 from making a bogey from nowhere, really,” Scott said after his round.

“I missed a short putt. To come back birdie, birdie and even have a look on the last for birdie as well was really good, because definitely playing 17 the juices were flowing a little bit, I was feeling like I’m in the tournament and certainly has been awhile since I’ve really been feeling that, so it was nice to make a couple birdies while the adrenaline was up.”

Scott had a chance to throw his name in the mix with a good round Sunday at the Open Championship this year, but he stumbled and never gained momentum. He’s hoping to learn from that mistake this week.

“I still think there’s a good score out there because this is a much softer golf course than what we were facing — it was very severe wind on Sunday at the Open Championship, out of a different direction, and on a very firm course,” Scott said. “This is much softer. There’s a good score out there. However, there’s the pressure of Sunday of a major as well.

“I think what I’ll learn from The Open Championship is not to really put a number in mind, just go out and play and if I can hit fairways, I think I can give myself enough chances to shoot a low round tomorrow.”

Having dropped so far down the world ranking, Scott needed a special invite to play this week. He has, so far, made the PGA look smart for granting him a spot in the field.

“I am very grateful that they do that every year, otherwise I wouldn’t be here,” Scott said. “So now I’ve got a chance to win tomorrow. But that’s one of the great things about the PGA, it’s the strongest field in golf by world ranking and I think it’s really great that they run down that world ranking list to fill the field and make it the strongest event out here.”

Like many of his fellow Australian’s Scott has been playing with a heavy heart this week following the passing of former professional golfer Jarrod Lyle. Scott said it would mean a little extra to win in his honor.

“I mean it would be more than twice the thrill for me, but I think no matter who wins tomorrow I think if that person has met Jarrod Lyle, then they will have felt something with him passing this week,” Scott said. “It’s been such a difficult thing, I think, for us to get our heads around because we have been removed from Jarrod and his family back in Australia and everything happening so suddenly last week and then this week.

“I don’t even really know if we have all really had time to reflect on it and let it sink in. But I think that a part of everyone’s playing for Jarrod out here this week.”

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