New top dog Adam Scott is following in Greg Norman's footsteps

Australian will reflect on inspiration of his hero and mentor as he takes No 1 spot from Woods

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 18 May, 2014, 12:28am
UPDATED : Sunday, 18 May, 2014, 12:29am


Adam Scott's ascension to golf's world number one is in sync with his goals of emulating the feats of his boyhood idol Greg Norman.

Scott, 33, will overtake Tiger Woods in this week's rankings to become golf's top player for the first time.

He will become the first Aussie to claim the top spot in the rankings since "the Great White Shark" Norman reigned for 331 weeks in the 1980s and 1990s.

Scott has often spoken about the inspirational effect Norman had on his formative golfing years and paid tribute to the two-time major winner after capturing the Masters at Augusta last year.

"Part of this is for him [Norman] because he's given me so much time, and inspiration and belief," Scott said at the time. "I drew on that a lot. I somehow managed to stay in each shot when I needed to.

I honestly feel I can follow Greg's footsteps as far as his achievements. I feel that's kind of a goal of mine
Adam Scott

"He has devoted so much time to myself and other young Australian players who came after him. Incredibly generous."

Norman had predicted Scott would topple Woods and has been vindicated by his protégé finally reaching the pinnacle after spurning four chances to overtake Woods in recent months.

"I honestly feel I can follow Greg's footsteps as far as his achievements," Scott has said previously. "I feel that's kind of a goal of mine. Greg has a charisma about him and an aura that he carries, and I don't know if that comes with success or if you've just got it, and I don't know if I've got that.

"But my goal is to achieve Greg's feats so I'm on my way."

Now Scott, who enraptured his homeland with his sudden-death play-off win to become the first Australian to capture the Masters, will become only the 17th player to hold the number one ranking.

That green jacket had proved particularly elusive to Australian golfers, with eight finishing as runners-up at the Masters, including two-time British Open champion Norman, who endured Georgia heartbreak with three runner-up finishes.

Yet nine months after making bogeys on the last four holes to squander a British Open lead at Royal Lytham and two years after sharing second at the Masters, Scott nervelessly captured his first major title with victory at Augusta.

Five-time British Open champion Peter Thomson was another Australian golfing great to encourage Scott to believe he would win majors and become world number one.

"Immediately after the [2012] British Open was over, I sent him an e-mail," Thomson said. "I said, 'never mind, that's just a small step back in your career. You will get there if you keep trying.' Words to that effect.

"Then he replied with a nice message of thanks. I felt very good about it. He deserves what he has won."

Leading golf journalist Martin Blake called Scott's winning putt one of the standout moments in Australian sport.

"Adam Scott goes into the pantheon of Australian sporting greats, right up with [Rod] Laver, [Dawn] Fraser, [Donald] Bradman. [Masters] Hoodoo broken," he tweeted.