Adam Scott says he feels like a “top player again” after earning qualification for the season-ending Tour Championship and a 10th Presidents Cup team in remarkable style with a final hole save in the final round of the BMW Championship in the US.
Having taken the lead after two rounds, Scott began the final day of the $21m event in Delaware two shots behind Patrick Cantlay, knowing the triple treat of a win, a return to the Tour Championship and a Presidents Cup berth were all to play for.
The 42-year-old teed off on the 18th hole, having been unable to reel in Cantlay, who won the event for the second straight year, needing a par to get inside the top 30 and keep his season alive.
He started with a pulled tee shot that came to rest beside a fairway bunker, and an awkward “baseball swinging” sand wedge reached a green-side bunker, before Scott delivered a clutch sand save to reach the Tour Championship for the first time since 2019.
Scott, who finished tied for fifth at the BMW and moved to 29th on the FedEx Cup standings, will join Cameron Smith, should he overcome a hip issue, as the only Australians to reach the Tour Championship as well as being the only Aussies to automatically qualify in the first eight selected players for the International team for the Presidents Cup.
“I guess that’s the beauty of the FedEx Cup Playoffs the way they are. You can scratch it around a lot for the year and have a couple good weeks and get heavily rewarded by getting to East Lake and being in that top 30 and all the perks that come with it,” Scott said.
“This week I felt like I played really high-quality golf. I was out there with Scottie Scheffler yesterday who’s obviously played incredible this year, and I felt like I was playing at that high, high level again, and I haven’t been in so many of those situations this year.
“But I felt like my game stacked up, and I felt like a top player.
“Hopefully, stuff to build on this week and go for it next week with really nothing to lose and head into the next season full of confidence and hopefully keep my head in this place where I feel like I’m one of the best players out here.”
Scott said he knew there was no “wriggle room” in the final round, which made the shot on the 18th that much more nerve-racking for the former world No.1.
“You know, what’s tricky is when the tournament kind of is out of reach with two to go. When my putt doesn’t go in on 17, it’s really not going to happen for me,” he said.
“But still kind of nervous playing the last because not knowing is weird, especially when you’re baseball swinging your sand wedge from 130 or something.”
Smith’s selection for the Presidents Cup could also mean his reported move to Greg Norman’s LIV Golf won’t happen for some time, and he won’t play in their next event at the start of September.
The Presidents Cup, which is run by the PGA Tour, is played at the end of September and no LIV players are eligible.