One bit of clothing separates Adam Scott from an incredibly uncomfortable week at Muirfield this week. Of course, that bit of clothing happens to be a green jacket, which has a real way of smoothing over problems. But without that Masters win this past spring, Scott would still be best known as the guy who gave away a major in one of the most heartbreaking collapses in golf history.
Just so you remember: Scott was leading the British Open last year by four strokes with four holes to go. Some incredible down-the-stretch play from Ernie Els and an unfathomable collapse by Scott, and the major was gone.
Scott spoke openly about the collapse immediately afterward, and the Masters win obviously healed much of the wound. Still, he'll talk about it, as he did soon afterward with Tom Watson while playing a practice round.
Watson knows a thing or two about collapses at the British Open, having effectively given away a win in 2009 when he lost to Stewart Cink in a playoff after bogeying the 72nd hole. It wasn't his first time letting a tournament slip, however.
"He said that he let one slip early in his career, and he said he would never let that happen again," Scott said. "He would just be tough and want it so badly. And sometimes maybe that has to happen for you to realize that."
So what did Scott learn? "Overall you just have to be tough coming down the stretch, and I wasn't tough enough that day," Scott said. "A four-shot lead isn't enough if you're not going to be tough. Even if you're being tough, four shots can only just get you over the line."
Scott's as good a bet as anyone this week. But we'll understand if he doesn't really believe he's won the Claret Jug till it's home with him in Australia.