PGA Tour Confidential: Adam Scott wins Masters for first major title

Adam Scott
John W. McDonough / Sports Illustrated
Adam Scott birdied the second hole of sudden death to win his first career major title.

Every Sunday night, the editorial staff of the SI Golf Group conducts an e-mail roundtable. Check in every week for the unfiltered opinions of our writers and editors and join the conversation in the comments section below.

1. Adam Scott is your 2013 Masters champion. For years, he's had the talent to win a major. What's changed about his game that's got him in contention regularly at majors and now finally winning one?

Cameron Morfit, senior writer, Golf Magazine: Scott is absolutely one of the best drivers of the ball I've seen, and I watched him hit the most majestic tee shot on the filthy-hard, par-4 11th when he was paired with Jason Dufner on Saturday. I think that driving set him apart this week, plus he made some extremely timely putts. It was interesting that he credited Steve Williams for "an unbelievable read" on the final playoff hole, in the dark, when Scott had it only a cup outside the hole and Williams said it was more than two.

Gary Van Sickle, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: Adam Scott made putts on the back nine Sunday to go with his usually superlative ballstriking. Can it really be that simple? Yes.

Jeff Ritter, senior producer, Golf.com: It's tough to speculate what's in a guy's head or his heart, but by all appearances in the last couple of years Scott has become more driven than ever, and it's taken his game to a new level. If he made a few more putts Sunday, he actually could've run away with this one. He was staring at birdie putts all day, his tee-to-green game was that good.

Jim Gorant, senior editor, Sports Illustrated: All his short game stats are better -- sand saves, scrambling -- including his putting. Of course draining putts makes everything look better. It's gotta be the broomstick.

Ryan Reiterman, senior producer, Golf.com: Ever since he switched to the long putter, he's clearly gained confidence on the greens. Combine that with his textbook swing and, say what you will about him, a great caddie in Steve Williams, and he's had all the tools to win a major. But, you still have to get some lucky breaks to win these things, and he got one on 13 when that ball stayed out of the water.

Eamon Lynch, managing editor, Golf.com: Four things. As Greg Norman and Brandel Chamblee have both noted today, he hits the ball a lot higher than he used to, which helps in every major this side of the Atlantic. He has more belief in himself. He has more experience of being in the mix on Sunday. Oh yeah, and he anchors his putter.

Stephanie Wei, WEIUNDERPAR.com: Stevie Williams, obviously. Duh. Jokes aside, I believe Stevie has helped him a lot. He's a great caddie and what's more, he balances Scott's personality and game. They're a perfect team. I remember at Bridgestone when Stevie stole the spotlight. Adam said he wanted to lay up and Stevie handed him a 5-iron and said take dead aim. He's also more confidence with his putter since he switched to the broomstick two years ago.

Mark Godich, senior editor, Sports Illustrated: I don't know that much has changed. He has always been a superior ballstriker. Maybe things came a little too easily for him early on. Credit to him that he kept grinding, especially after the disappointment at last year's British Open.

2. Scott is the sixth player to win a major with an anchored putter. Like Ernie Els at the British Open, Scott's putting with the short stick had been shaky before he switched. Are you ready to admit that anchoring is an advantage?

Lynch: The only major not currently held by someone who anchors the putter is the PGA Championship, which ironically is the only event run by a body that opposes banning anchoring. Anchoring doesn't turn bad putters into great putters, but it does make mediocre putters competitive. Just look at Scott's results in the majors before he went to the long putter and his results since.

Gorant: Anchoring is definitely an advantage. That doesn't mean necessarily that it should be banned, but like a large headed driver or a hybrid club, it's an advantage.

Van Sickle: Anchoring is not a better way to putt, it's only a better way to putt for players who can't putt. Scott ranked 39th in putting stats here for the week, I believe. Break up the Mets, eh? My plan for the last 12 major winners to use anchored putting before they kick in the ban is right on schedule. Way to go, Adam. Suck on that, USGA.

Ritter: As soon as someone shows me data that proves anchoring to be an unfair advantage, I'll support the ban. I do believe that anchoring provides Scott his best chance at getting the ball in the hole, but just like the claw grip, cross-handed grip, mallet putter and those fat, oversized putter grips. It's not for everyone. I still see anchoring as unsightly, but not unfair.

Reiterman: I still don't think it's a huge advantage. Like Scott said, give the pros enough time to practice with something and of course they're going to do well. If the anchored stroke is banned, I bet Scott will still go out and win another major.

Godich: Funny, but until he made the birdie putt on the 72nd hole, I mentioned to a friend that it might be time for him to go back to the short putter. The next six guys on the leader board were all using a short putter. One guy winning does not necessarily make it an advantage.

Morfit: I would admit that it's an advantage for people who can't putt any other way, so yes, it's an advantage.

Wei: I believe that being able to putt without anchoring the club against the body is a fundamental part of the game, so yes, it is an advantage. I remember two years ago at the Masters when he finished T2 and dropped all those clutch putts down the stretch, I showed up at the practice green on Tuesday at Hilton Head and was floored at how many guys with belly putters I saw, including Ernie Els, who was considering playing with it for the first time that week. So, clearly, this trend was Adam Scott's fault in the first place. Full circle!

Go to Page 2

Forecast
PGA Tour News
Trips
Travel & Courses
Lessons
Tips & Videos
The Shop
Equipment News & Reviews