Adam Scott says a star grouping with Dustin Johnson and fellow Australian Marc Leishman is the perfect start to his quest for golf’s holy grail – the Open Championship at St Andrews.
Scott will play the opening rounds of the 150th Open at the Old Course with two-time Major winner Johnson, who has recently gone across to LIV Golf, and good mate Leishman.
The pairing is significant because both Scott and Leishman held at least a share of the lead in the final round the last time the Open was at St Andrews, in 2015. Scott “capitulated” on the back nine that year while Leishman posted the clubhouse lead before losing in a playoff to eventual winner Zach Johnson.
Both Australians are eager to atone for that heartache as the sporting world readies to watch the last Major of the year.
“I think it’s a nice pairing because we know each other well,” Scott said at St Andrews on Wednesday. “I think that’s a good pairing. I like DJ (Johnson), too. I’ve played a lot with him. He’s a guy I enjoy watching play. Some guys I like to watch play as well and I can definitely feed off him also if he’s playing good
“It’s the 150th Open at St Andrews, I’ve got a great group and I’m here and playing good so I’m excited for what’s ahead this week.” Scott and Leishman were also paired together during the final round of the 2013 Masters, where they enjoyed an emotional high-5 before Scott won his only Major to date in a playoff.
Scott’s best chances for a second Major have come at the Open; he finished second in 2012 after collapsing late in the final round at Royal Lytham and St Annes. Scott also owns two other top-five finishes among five top-10s in total, including a 10th at St Andrews in 2015.
Scott is desperate to join an exclusive club of golfers to have won a Masters and an Open at St Andrews – Sam Snead, Jack Nicklaus, Nick Faldo, Tiger Woods and Zach Johnson.
Scott agreed with comments made earlier in the week by Rory McIlroy that an Open win at St Andrews was “golf’s holy grail”.
“Winning a major is special, and then there are a couple that maybe have an asterisk next to them because they just maybe carry a little bit more importance and significance,” Scott said. “I tend to agree with Rory that this probably is the Holy Grail of golf. Whether you’re an Australian or Northern Irishman, or from Scotland, it might be the pinnacle of this sport, what’s happening here this week. For anybody winning, it’s hard to put anything up against it.”
Scott is joined at the Open by fellow Australians Cameron Smith, Leishman, Lucas Herbert, Min Woo Lee, Anthony Quayle, Jason Scrivener, Dimi Papadatos, Jed Morgan, Brad Kennedy and Matt Griffin.