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Scott comes to US Open as a major champion

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POSTED June 11, 2013 2:02 a.m.

ARDMORE, Pa. (AP) — Adam Scott can understand why so many people thought he would have a hard time getting over his epic collapse in the British Open.

They didn’t understand his master plan of trying to get better instead of just trying to get better results.

Ernie Els walked away from Royal Lytham & St. Annes with a silver claret jug. Scott walked away believing he finally was capable of winning a major, and it wasn’t just a pep talk to soothe the shock over losing a four-shot lead with four holes to play.

“I think if I sat there and watched someone else do what I did, it would have been devastating,” Scott said Monday. “It’s maybe more apparent to me now that you were all surprised that I wasn’t just shattered. But honestly, that’s not how I felt.”

In a decision that reshaped his career, Scott decided two years ago to play a limited schedule and practice smarter so that he would be ready for the biggest events. That Sunday afternoon at the British Open, despite the ugly finish, showed him he was on the right track. He promised that day the next time — and he was certain there would be a next time — he would finish the job.

Scott’s story had a happy ending.

At his hideaway in the Bahamas, the Australian starts each day by slipping on the green jacket he won at Augusta National two months ago, when he made a 20-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole and then another birdie in the rain on the second playoff hole to win the Masters.

• • •

Rain causing problems at Merion
: ARDMORE, Pa. (AP) — The most popular equipment Merion was not a golf club but a squeegee.

More heavy rain at the U.S. Open flooded a bunker by the 11th green and filled fairways with large puddles and tiny stream. The course was closed for four hours during the first full day of practice, and shut down for good later in the afternoon.

The U.S. Open returns to Merion for the first time in 32 years. And it looks like it will be a wet U.S. Open.

Ernie Els says even if officials had helicopters hover over the fairways, the turf still won’t be as firm as the USGA wants it for the toughest test in golf.

And worst might be ahead. The forecast is for more rain on Thursday for the opening round.

• • •

Garcia, Woods shown shaking hands on green
: ARDMORE, Pa. (AP) — Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia shook hands Monday on the U.S. Open practice range at Merion.

It was the first time they have seen each other since Garcia jokingly said at an awards dinner in England that he would have Woods over for dinner during the U.S. Open and “we will serve fried chicken.” Garcia apologized for the racially insensitive remark the next day at a news conference.

A fan at the U.S. Open took a picture of the handshake and posted it on Twitter.

Woods and Garcia both have news conferences on Tuesday.

The last time the two shook hands was May 12, early Sunday at The Players Championship after completing the third round when they were paired together. Woods went on to win the tournament.

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