Adam Scott is riding the crest of a wave with his current form, and results in 2013.
From winning his first major (US Masters) in April, and the Barclay's during the FedEx Cup series, and now dominating the major events in Australia, he is now the number two ranked player in the world behind Tiger Woods.
All this success is a far cry from the struggles he experienced in 2009 where his form for the first time in his career deserted him. In 2009 he played in 16 tournaments on the PGA Tour and missed the cut in ten of those events.
He ranked 116th on the PGA Tour, just barely staying inside the 125 number and keeping his playing privileges for 2010.
This was his worst year as a professional since he turned pro in 2000.
How many times when a players performance goes on the slide that the "experts" come out with all the advice in the world?
Some pointed to the break up of his relationship with tennis star Anna Ivanavic as the cause of his loss of form.
During this period Adam stopped working with coach Butch Harmon, who he had teamed up with when he went to college in the USA and attended the University of Las Vegas (UNLV).
To his credit he evaluated his position and made some good decisions and got his career back on track. He started working with his brother-in-law, a golf professional from the UK who was teaching at a golf course on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia.
The biggest and most radical change he made was at the end of 2010 when he put the long putter in his bag and used it at the start of 2011. It has literally transformed him from just another player on the PGA Tour to being in the small elite group of professionals we refer to as "superstars" in 2013.
As the time frame and the stats below will show, it has been two years for Adam to regain his place in the top 10 World Golf rankings once again.
Even for someone of his ability, not trying to compress the timeline for improvement was important to understand, otherwise he would have failed and probably given up.
As we now know even the heart break of leading the 2012 British Open by four shots with 4 holes to go and losing it did not discourage Adam.
A similar loss like that has destroyed many other golfers careers, but his comeback from that failure makes his success at the Masters in 2013 even sweeter.
The game of golf especially in Australia needs players like Adam Scott to grow the game and attract the next generation of young golfers to take up the game.
It is never easy to get to the top of the world ranking, but it is even harder to stay there for a long period of time. Tiger woods has been able to do it most of his career. Phil Mickelson has never been Number 1 in the world rankings, but he has been a top ten ranked player for a long time.
As we do at Pro Tour Golf College we look at the critical statistics of players to examine what makes them different and successful.
We tracked Adam's stats from his worst year in 2009 to his best year in 2013 to find out where was he able to turn his game around and be in a position to hunt down Tiger Woods and that coveted number one world ranking.
You can see that in the categories of Driving Accuracy and Greens-in-Regulation that there is not a lot of difference between his worst year (2009) and his best year (2013) where he achieved his best result.
But there is a huge difference in his scoring average of 71.72 in 2009 compared to 69.34 in 2013. And you can notice a correlation when he went to the long putter at the start of 2011 where his scoring average has dipped below 70 over the last three years.
As we have identified and regularly remind the students at Pro Tour Golf College when you achieve a scoring code of 12 - 4 - 2 = 70 or better in professional tournaments you will be a world class golfer.
For those who have never read about this scoring code, it's about averaging 12 pars, 4 birdies, 2 bogies in each round. The closer you get to this magic code the better your chance of becoming a successful tour professional.
An interesting observation is that Adam's scoring for par 3's, 4's and 5's from 2010 are very similar. Between 32 to 45 over par for the par 3's and par 4's combined, and 74 to 78 under par for the par 5's. You can see the par 5's are his strength and where he puts himself into contention during tournaments.
But his scoring still pales in significance compared to Tiger's 2000 season where he compiled an unbelievable - 25 for the par 3's, - 71 for the par 4's and a mind boggling -167 for the par 5's and a scoring average for the year of 67.79!
But let's get back to Adam and look at what his stats can tell us about how he has resurrected his career after his disastrous 2009 season.
The last two categories above is where it is. Without fail at every tournament he was in contention to win the commentators would remind us that his Achilles heel was his inability to hole those crucial short putts down the stretch, and because of that he would never win a major or fulfill his potential.
From 2011 (Long putter introduced) from 5 feet to 15 feet Adam has averaged over 41% conversion.
It's within this band of distance the golf statistician Professor Mark Brodie (who developed the stroke gained-putting statistic for the PGA Tour) has identified as crucial for players to improve and get themselves into contention during tournaments.
The last category though is the one that has made the difference which has allowed Adam Scott to win tournaments on a regular basis and to rise to number two in the world golf ranking at this moment.
In 2013 he has averaged 87.42% from the 3 feet to 5 feet range and the best in that category on the PGA Tour averages was just over 90% so he is right up there with the very best, and combined with his superior ball striking and great attitude he will be a major force for many years to come.
This is especially true as Adam is still in his early thirties and in golfing terms "in his prime" and with the monkey now off his back by winning at Augusta this year, and the long putter legal for a few more years it will be interesting to keep an eye on his progress and whether he can maintain the improvement in his game and catch Tiger.
In an interview recently Adam spoke about perfection in golf. He shared that perfection for him was in "preparing" (course mapping, strategy and maintaining his routines on and off the course) as well as he possible could which then translated to improved performance.
The game of golf needs superstars to attract the next generation of golfers to this great game.
Lawrie and I will keep an eye on Adam Scott's progress and we look forward to keeping you up to date with how he keeps finding ways to get better.
And after all, isn't that what its all about?
David Milne and Lawrie Montague - Pro Tour Golf College
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