Adam Scott hasn’t made many mates on the Australian major circuit lately. Last week he withdrew from the Australian PGA after hurting his already gimpy knee while bodysurfing. This week, still ailing, he pulled out of the Australian Open, then told the press that he likely would have sucked it up and played had it been the U.S. Open and not the Down Under edition. "Probably, yes, I would have," Scott said. "The reason I am not coming down to play is that I could hobble around this week and get it done, but I think that would set me back so far that I would not be able to start 2009 at the Mercedes (tournament).” This news will go down with Australians like a warm pint of Fosters. Aussies are a deeply patriotic people, and many will take Scott’s admission as disrespectful if not flat-out treasonous. “A blow, a big blow,” is how Australian Open tournament director Trevor Herden described Scott’s decision.
“It's sad,” he said. “Unfortunately no one is going to see him down here this summer. It's just a shame."
More disturbing is the gravity of Scott’s injury, which last week Scott’s agent brushed off as a “very minor, little issue.” Scott, in fact, dislocated his kneecap and tore a ligament. “This is the sixth time I have done it to my knee,” he said in a conference call with the Aussie media yesterday. "There is a lot of stuff going on in my knee already. I can't extend my leg properly to walk. If I spend five days walking incorrectly, it is going to take me two weeks to get out of that. "All the muscles have shortened and weakened and deteriorated. The leg is not in great shape at the moment.” Scott ascended to No. 3 in the world after a fifth place finish at Wachovia in May. A month later, at the U.S. Open, he played in a powerhouse grouping with Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, though finished quietly with a T26. In his five PGA Tour starts since August, Scott missed two cuts and finished no better than T50. He has slipped to 16th in the world.
“It's been a frustrating year,” he said. “To be honest, my head was not on the golf course after June."