In April, Adam Scott won his first career major at Augusta National winning the Masters. The 33-year-old Australian beat out former champion Ángel Cabrera in a thrilling two-hole playoff to become the first Australian to win the tournament.
Scott began his 2013 season late in February and wasn’t expected to push for any major titles, but now he is on the verge of his second of the year. Scott is through two rounds at the PGA Championship in Rochester, New York at Oak Hill country club and is the current leader at seven-under-par.
After round one, Scott was the leader with a five-under-par 65. In round two, he shot a two-under-par 68. The weekend rounds will decide the Aussie’s fate, but he has given himself the outright lead halfway through the tournament and has been one of the most consistent golfers on the tour this year.
In 2012, Scott was in line to win the Open Championship but choked in the final round and even worse on the final hole to allow champion Ernie Els to rob him of his first major title. So 2013 has been very redeeming for the world’s ninth-ranked golfer, and a second major win could elevate him further up the rankings and would give him the honor of being the first golfer since Pádraig Harrington in 2008 to win two majors in one season.
But with two days left and neither Mickelson nor Woods out of the tournament, it’s too soon to start considering altering the rankings or handing out any trophies. Woods, at the time of this writing, is just teeing off round two — he shot one-over-par in round one and has a lot of work to do if he is to win his first major in five years. Mickelson also shot one-over-par in round one and repeated that performance in round two putting him at two-over for the tournament. Mickelson would need superb weekend performances if he is going to win consecutive major titles.
The other 2013 major winner, Justin Rose of England is right at the top of the board as well. In round one, Rose shot two-under and in round two, four-under, putting him in sole position of second place behind Scott with a six-under-par. Rose, like Scott, won his first major title in 2013, when he won the U.S. Open in June. The 33-year-old South African, Mickelson and Scott are all in the same group at the PGA championship.
Others to watch: United States’ Jim Furyk and Robert Garrigus (each are five-under-par but haven’t completed round two). Webb Simpson shot a six-under-par 64 in round two to climb all the way up to four-under for the tournament, putting him in perfect position for a weekend run at it. Germany’s Martin Kaymer has had back-to-back two-under-par performances in the first two rounds and could capitalize over the weekend after a strong start. Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy sits even after two rounds and will make the cut, he won the tournament last season and might finally be getting his swing back.
The bad weather in Upstate New York has halted play once already and might again over the weekend, but it won’t delay a Sunday showdown. Whether it’s Scott and Rose battling for their respective second major wins of their careers and seasons, or Mickelson and Woods powering their ways to the top like always — the last tournament of the year is shaping up to be a good one.