Scott says Major wins more important than No. 1

As you read this, the number one player in the world is an Australian for the first time since Greg Norman in the 1990s.

Adam Scott’s feat is one to which he has aspired all his life but even he might have dreamed of a more fitting way in which to take the honour than sitting at home on his couch.

Adam Scott Adam Scott (Credit: Anthony Powter)

Through the mechanics of the Official World Ranking System, Adam Scott moved past the injured Tiger Woods without fanfare, without a victory in the year and perhaps without the acclaim that ought to go hand in hand with such a momentous occasion.

Scott’s ascension marks the 57th change at the No. 1 position since the inception of the ranking system in 1986 and he joins the grouping of Bernhard Langer, Nick Faldo, Ian Woosnam and Lee Westwood, who reached the top while being inactive in the preceding week.

Scott’s best chance to take the No.1 mantle in the best way possible was at Bay Hill earlier this year but he couldn’t capitalise down the stretch despite holding a seven-shot lead at one point.

A successful defence or high finish at The Masters would have done it too, as would a top 16 spot at the recent Players Championship.

Neither would come to fruition and so it was left to mathematics and not his golf clubs, to do the business for him.

Unfair? Perhaps. Is the No.1 spot warranted? Our patriotic response would be – Absolutely.

Scott has been the best player in the majors for the past two seasons and won five times around the world in that time, including his first major.

Opinions from others who cite Woods’ inactivity and Scott having gone slightly off the boil when compared to his heroics at the end of 2013, would suggest otherwise.

Scrutiny of the OWGR system in the past week has been heightened but Scott, who we’ve lauded for reducing his schedule to focus on major championship success not statistical output, has coincidentally responded by increasing his schedule.

He will play this week’s Crowne Plaza Invitational – ‘The Colonial’ – in the lead up to next month’s US Open.

“I think I need to play a little bit, rather than go to the range,” he said of his change of plans. “I just feel like I should get out on the golf course.”

Doing so and getting back to his winning ways will divert attention from the rankings debate back to where it belongs, the bona fides of his claims to be the best player in the world.

When introduced at a lunch in his honour during the 2011 Presidents Cup as having had fourteen top-ten placings in majors in addition to his successes, David Graham’s immediate response was “They (top-tens in majors) don’t count unless you win”.

Consistency in the majors is extremely difficult to achieve, but winning and winning prolifically have been the hallmarks of the greats who have held the top spot regularly in the ranking era including the likes of Tiger Woods and Greg Norman.

To his credit, Scott’s focus and aspirations are on the same tangent as these great players – winning; and everything else will take care of itself.

“I would also much rather win the US Open and not be number one at all this year. That’s what it comes down to.” Scott said.