Talking points from Adam Scott's WGC-Cadillac Championship victory
By Ali Stafford
Last Updated: 07/03/16 3:31pm
Adam Scott's return to form, a near-miss for Rory McIlroy and a profitable week for Steven Bowditch feature in the talking points from the WGC-Cadillac Championship action.
Golf's growing elite?
While talk continues about golf's 'big three' of Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy and Jason Day, it was two of the PGA Tour's old guard who once again shone during a dramatic final round.
Adam Scott became the first player since Billy Horschel in 2014 to win twice in as many weeks on the PGA Tour by snatching a one-shot victory, while Bubba Watson continued his impressive start to the season to take second.
Victory lifts Scott back up to world No 6, while Watson's runner-up finish cuts the gap between him in fourth and the young trio ahead of him.
Throw into the mix Abu Dhabi champion Rickie Fowler, whose tied-eight finish in Florida was his sixth top-10 in seven starts worldwide, and you have six players in a genuine battle for world No 1. The top of the world rankings is an exciting place right now.
Masters on the mind
Scott must wish the opening major of the year was next on his schedule after following his Honda Classic victory with another title at Doral.
Two double-bogeys in a three-hole stretch along the front nine, and a shanked chip late in the round, failed to stop the Australian posting a closing 69 and finishing top of the leaderboard.
The former world No 1 has made a smooth transition since switching from the long putter to the conventional club late last year, while this recent stretch has seen him finish in a tie for second in California before becoming a back-to-back champion.
"Somehow I need to bottle this up and keep it for another four or five weeks," he said after his victory. If he can, then a second Masters title is very much a possibility.
Rory's putting progress
Although McIlroy was disappointed not to turn a lead into a victory for the second tournament in three weeks, his much-improved putting display will give the new world No 2 plenty of encouragement in the build-up to Augusta.
McIlroy successfully switched to the cross-handed putting method at Doral he last used competitively in 2008, having struggled on the greens during the early part of the season.
After taking time to adjust to his new method with an opening-round 71, McIlroy was noticeably hotter with the flat stick for the remainder of the week as he posted considerably better putting statistics than he had managed at the Honda Classic.
A tied-third finish means McIlroy's wait for a first win in 2016 still goes on with the Masters barely a month away, but the 26-year-old knows he is edging closer to finding the four consecutive solid rounds needed to reach the winner's circle once again.
Spieth's official challenge
World No 1 Spieth may have been a long way off the pace as he finished in a tie for 17th, but the 22-year-old did pose an interesting rules question during his third round.
The two-time major champion asked a rules official early on Saturday whether he could dampen the bottom of his putter to prevent it slipping across Trump National's slick greens.
"I've spoken to commentators, players and nobody knew the answer if you can do it," Spieth said. "I didn't know if it was legal so I've never done it on the golf course [during a tournament round], so I asked an official."
After a slight delay, Spieth was told he could use a towel to clean his club and if the towel was wet that would not be a violation, but was advised not to lick his thumb and apply it to the bottom of his putter.
It's the taking part that counts…
He may have finished his week outright last and some 49 strokes adrift of the winner, but Steven Bowditch still made a tidy sum for making it an Australian sandwich at the top and bottom of the WGC leaderboard.
Bowditch became the first golfer since 1983 to card four consecutive rounds in the 80s at a PGA event and finished the week 37-over-par after posting a 12-over 84 out on his own during the final round.
Despite the lowly position and making the highest score in World Golf Championship history, Bowditch still made a cool $48,000 (£33,700) for finishing the no-cut event in 65th spot.
"All's not that bad," Bowditch said after racing through his final round in just two hours and 12 minutes. "You don't want to play that way, but it is what it is."