- The Washington Times - Monday, July 2, 2007

Adam Scott emerges from the scorer’s hut at Oakmont with only a hint of annoyance on his classic Roman features. The 26-year-old Australian has just missed the cut at the 107th U.S. Open. But a casual bystander would never know it.

Scott is gutted inside, his 76-82 meltdown at Oakmont constituting the worst two-round total of his major career. On the outside, he’s utterly composed.

Entering the Open, some listed Scott just behind Tiger Woods as the Oakmont favorite. He rolled into the season’s second major off a pair of top-10 finishes and left swing instructor Butch Harmon beaming at his practice-session ball-striking.

Then the steel curtain otherwise known as Oakmont came crashing down on the World No. 4, ending his streak of 11 consecutive made cuts at majors in spectacular fashion.

Most players would have sulked away in silence or spit stilettos at anyone brazen enough to interrupt their misery. Given the average twentysomething psyche combined with the gulf between performance and expectation, perhaps some expected Scott to go completely Krakatoa and engage in a total post-round eruption.

But Scott has always been more Burberry than bile, too classy and too cool for caterwauling in public.

“It’s disgraceful, embarrassing, but I really don’t have the answers right now, other than poor rhythm,” Scott succinctly explains to the gaggle of reporters. “I missed fairways, missed greens and didn’t make a putt for two days.”

This is Adam Scott, golf’s gift to grace … even on his worst day.

Aesthetically speaking, nobody in the game can compete with Scott.

Ask a member of the fairer sex about the young Aussie, and you’re guaranteed to provoke a sigh.

Like his idol Greg Norman before him, women of all ages swoon in the wake of the angular lad from Adelaide.

Maria Sharapova recently put golf’s most eligible bachelor on her list of fantasy doubles partners, along with a playful request: “Night match, please?” On his way to the first tee of the 2004 Kemper Open, a young woman slipped him a note containing a phone number and the suggestion that some “night lessons” were in order.

Scott won the event with a record-matching low score (21-under, 263), one of his 10 victories on the PGA and European Tours. But flight plans precluded him from celebrating with his saucy young suitor.

Ask an analyst or instructor about Scott’s swing, and you’ll likely hear a similarly wistful sigh.

When Harmon recently took on World No. 2 Phil Mickelson, the planet’s most notable golf coach made certain everyone knew that Scott was still his primary pupil. Loyalty? Perhaps. But the cynic inside has to think Harmon, the man who originally groomed Woods for greatness, knows exactly which stallion he’d ultimately choose for his chariot.

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