GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA (AP) - After being treated like a rock star for most of Wednesday’s pro-am at the Australian PGA, Adam Scott left the course with the keys to the city.
It was that kind of day for Scott, who is making his first appearance back home after winning the Masters in April, the first win at Augusta by any Australian.
Scott grew up in the Gold Coast area and will begin play Thursday in the Australian PGA, the first of four consecutive weeks he’ll play Down Under.
On Wednesday, his pro-am group was followed by a large gallery. Shouts of encouragement and congratulations were frequent around the Royal Pines resort course, and Scott often stopped to sign autographs and chat to locals.
“I wanted to come home straight away after winning, but thought if I come home and start celebrating I might not make it back,” Scott said following the pro-am.
“And I don’t want to waste this year just with winning the Masters and resting on my laurels a little bit and letting things slip. I wanted to take advantage of the confidence and the momentum and see how far I could push myself this year.
“It could have quite easily been a two or three major win year. I was close again at the (British) Open and I was hanging around all weekend at the PGA and just didn’t quite get over the line.”
After the Australian PGA, he’ll play two weeks in a row at Royal Melbourne, first defending his Australian Masters title, then playing with Jason Day in the World Cup, a team event using a similar format to the one being used at golf’s return to the Olympics at Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
He’ll then play in the Australian Open at Royal Sydney.
“That’s a lot of work for me these days, as a part-time golfer,” Scott said, smiling. “That’s how I’m known in America, as the part-time golfer.
“It was a no-brainer for all of them, especially with the PGA being here on the Gold Coast, and the World Cup’s going to be fun.”
On Tuesday, he wore the Masters green jacket to a corporate function.
“It’s nice to talk to people and get an idea of just how much it meant to them back here” Scott said. “Last night was great, to kind of share the green jacket with everybody and a couple of stories.”
One of them was letting everyone know about Augusta’s apparently strict policy on laundering the green jacket, which he admitted to wearing around the house frequently.
“They send you a couple of pages of jacket etiquette they would like you to follow,” Scott said. “You can’t just go and drop it into the dry cleaners.”