Heartbreak behind Scott’s major redemption
THERE was plenty of Jarrod Lyle in that performance by Adam Scott.
Carrying the broken hearts of a nation, the 38-year-old fought hard until the end on one of golf's grandest stages.
His three-under-par wasn't enough to claim the PGA Championship - eventually won by Brooks Koepka - but it capped off a remarkable return to form which before Monday morning, seemed unlikely.
Scott arrived at the year's final major ranked 77 in the world and without a top five finish since 2016.
He had become one of the worst putters in the field, ranked 203rd for strokes made with the short stick per round (30.28), and 192nd for strokes gained; putting.
Scott's recent performances didn't warrant qualification for the tournament, but he was handed a special exemption by the PGA to compete.
The 2013 Masters champion didn't waste his opportunity, posting three consecutive rounds of three-under or better to end his top five drought by finishing third.
He played through the tournament with a heavy heart after fellow Australian golfer, Lyle, lost his battle with cancer on Wednesday night at age 36.
On day one, Scott choked back tears as he remembered Lyle's "booming laugh and awesome sense of humour".
"I'm trying to remember the good stuff, because that's what he'd want," Scott said.
"His story resonated with so many people. We hear such average news all the time and he was a shining light of a bloke; it's no wonder everyone gravitated towards him."
Scott started the fourth round in the final group with Koepka, trailing by one.
The Australian's task was made harder when he bogeyed the first, leaving a four shot gap to Koepka who started with a birdie.
But Scott was unfazed, as he steadied the ship with five-consecutive pars before making a charge.
He went five-under through the next seven holes to walk up to the 14th tied with US Open champion Koepka.
Despite sharing the lead, most eyes were on Tiger Woods, who once again threatened to end his decade-long drought for another major title.
The 42-year-old pulled to within one shot of the leaders on 14 after sending the crowd into a frenzy with six birdies.
His charge ended abruptly on 17 when his attempt at a gentle fade off the tee turned into a hard slice. Woods' shot ended on the edge of a creek bed and saw him fail to capitalise on an easy par five.
That left just Scott and Koepka, with the latter reclaiming the lead with back-to-back birdies on 15 and 16.
Scott was unable to keep pace, missing a seven-foot birdie attempt on 17 which would have pulled him to within one.
The final blow came on the 18th tee when he hit a snap hook into the trees as Koepka's ball sat perfectly in the fairway.
Scott ended on 13-under, three back from Koepka.
Woods delighted the gallery to one last roar on 18, draining a 20-foot putt to finish clear second.