IT remains to be seen whether Adam Scott’s spectacular third round of 65 at the Barclays is a major turning point.
What we do know is that it was triggered by a smaller change the previous day.
On the fifteenth hole, Adam stopped thinking.
“ I mean, to just forget about everything with the putting — technical and feel and anything — and just kind of look and stroke and not care where it went to be the answer is nice, because I don’t think there’s any major issues.”
Asked if this moment was an epiphany, Scott admitted that standing over a putt, he suddenly set himself free.
“I just thought what difference does it make if I hit this past the hole, because I’ve left every putt short and if it goes past, it might go in.”
This is interesting news from Scott, who’s relationship with the flat blade has deteriorated steadily since the US Masters. He says it has “drifted into the ordinary”.
Not landing a blow in any of the majors this year has been tough to take for a player who still has a blue chip swing, and the ability to arrive at the green in style.
Adam had knocked a lob-wedge in at the first for eagle, and hit his iron to five feet at the second. Then the old nightmare of a miss from four feet at the third.
Over the last couple of years he has three putted — and worse — from 10 feet. So to see two 45 footers roll in over the back nine is to really believe that he has decided to stop thinking, and just hit it.
Scott made more putting distance through fifteen holes of round three than over his first two combined.
Scott’s good humour about the “free putting” that made a 65 happen was mirrored by his mate Jason Day, who said he could contend over the final round “if I can find my ball”.
Day accepted the notion that there were two of him playing the third round — a dude spraying it off the tee and another cleaning it up. It was bit like an alternate ball foursome teaming Dr Jekyll with Mr Hyde.
Adam Hadwin was Day’s playing partner but he claims they barely saw each other — saying hello on the greens. Jason claimed he walked a ten miles to complete 18 holes, and in the heat it must’ve felt that way.
And yet he shot a 70. You’d sooner get an oyster off a rock than lever this guy off a leaderboard. He fought like an alley cat, and it was obvious that most players hitting so badly off the tee would be flat breaking 80.
“When I stand over it, is have no clue where it’s going,” he said.
Yet when he stood over putts, the feeling is exactly the opposite. The count of 25 putts over his second round tells the story. On the greens, he is an assassin.
If Jason can get it together off the tee, and Adam remain thought-free, the Barclays final round could be very interesting.