-- Adam Scott's most recent golf memory was not exactly what the Australian wanted on his brain entering the U.S. Open. In the final round of the Booz Allen Classic on Sunday at Congressional Country Club, Scott was climbing the leader board with a chance to make another move at No. 17. Then he hit his ball into the water.
"It went down the toilet from there," said Scott, whose approach hit the edge of the green and bounced out of the bunker before splashing down. Those unfortunate hops left Scott in a three-way tie for second behind winner Sergio Garcia.
Similar circumstances befell Scott at the end of his first round at Pinehurst No. 2, leaving him at even-par 70, three shots behind co-leaders Olin Browne and Rocco Mediate. But unlike at Booz Allen, Scott left the course Thursday mostly at peace with his game.
"I'd like to play another three rounds just like today. If I make putts, you know, I like my chances," Scott said.
The world's No. 7 ranked player shot a 34 on his front side thanks in part to four one-putt greens. His only one on the back came at No. 11, a par 4 playing 476 yards. There, Scott sent his 7-iron approach to 15 feet and rolled it in for birdie to get to 2 under.
His putter went sour over the final seven holes, which included bogeys on Nos. 15 and 18. At 15, a 203-yard par 3, Scott missed the green with a 6-iron and two-putted. At 18, a 442-yard par 4, he got an unkind bounce reminiscent of that at Congressional after hitting his 9-iron approach out of poor lie from 140 yards.
"It was a pretty bad lie, but I actually thought I hit a really good shot," Scott said. "I think it just maybe landed a yard short of where it would have kicked up on the green. Instead it jumped right in the thick rough there. And that was a pretty bad lie."
Scott tried to send the ball high and land it softly, but with little green with which to work, the ball floated above the pin before landing five feet past and rolling another few feet. He sent his par putt two feet past and settled for bogey.
"You have to watch it a little bit, the wedge shots today," Scott said. "They can spin back on the greens just as quick as they can go over. It takes some control, and I really didn't want to leave myself in spots where I had to jump on a wedge."
Scott's short game generally has been a strong suit in what is fast becoming another productive season. This year, he has won one event, finished in the top five in three others and has an eighth-place finish. Last season, Scott won two events -- the Players Championship and the Booz Allen -- and had one second-place finish en route to $3,724,984 in prize money.
After the Booz Allen, Scott made it clear he needs to manage his game with that type of consistency in a major championship. He did that Thursday with a grinding 18 holes.
"You can definitely play your way out of the tournament today with a bad round," Scott said. "I wanted to keep myself going after a good start. I didn't just want to slide away to a few over. I wanted to stay under par and build on what I had started. It was a tough finish over the last four holes. I bogeyed two of them, unfortunately. But I'd like to play like that again, and I'd fancy my chances."