The average viewer tuning in to the PGA Tour Championship at East Lake during Saturday’s third round as Henrik Stenson’s lead at one point had stretched to 9 shots couldn’t be blamed for changing channels to watch college football. Had they done so they surely missed an example of true drive, determination and dedication in the face of personal crisis by Aussie Adam Scott.
Anyone following the FedEx Play Offs and Championship would have known that Scott was just 4 shots off the lead at the start of the play Saturday in the Tour Championship. What may not have been apparent was Adam was suffering from a bad stomach virus. So bad, in fact, he needed an IV Drip overnight Friday so he would be strong enough to continue play Saturday and Sunday.
Scott had arrived at East Lake and the Tour Championship Thursday battling chills, aches and the overall malaise that comes with a flu. The type that would put most of us flat on our backs.
It would have been easy for him to give up after Friday’s round, blaming his illness, but not Adam Scott. In fact he managed to stay atop the leader board and within striking distance of leader Henrik Stenson after shooting a first round 5 under 65 then a 1 under 69 on Friday in spite of his worsening condition.
To most of us, Adam’s solid ball striking, near perfect balance along with his focused upbeat attitude gave no hint of any health issues. Only a few, other than caddy Steve Williams, initially were aware of just how sick Adam was until Saturday morning and the start of the third round.
The weather was no friend to Scott on Saturday as a steady oft-times relentless heavy rain added to his woes. When the round was over he did acknowledge the club felt as if it weighed 60 pounds. That was something that went almost unnoticed until late in the round when Scott simply could hide his fatigue.
This professional athlete did not quit. Scott, who fired a 74 on Saturday, came back Sunday to shoot a 69 which was good enough to finish tied for 14th place with a 3 under par 277.
It is true that coming in to East Lake this week, Scott was one of five players who if they won the Tour Championship would also win the FedEx Cup. There was also the possibility he would be named Player of The Year.
As Scott moves on to his next challenge as a member the International Team in the Presidents Cup Matches at Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio in two weeks, I am certain all of Australia is proud of this gamer from Adelaide .
*The term Gamesmanship in Golf generally refers to the art of psychological warfare between competitors during a match. I chose to use the term as it applied to the manner in which Adam Scott dealt with his health issue at East Lake. Quietly without fanfare or complaining Adam did what he had to do in order to finish the event. In fact better than some had expected. This is the mark of a true champion. In this instance, for me, gamesmanship.
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