High stakes for Scott in Texas

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Buoyed by his best performance of the season at TPC Sawgrass Adam Scott heads to the AT&T Byron Nelson for the first time since 2012 on a mission to play his way to the U.S. Open.

Scott moved up six places, from 71 to 65, in the Official World Golf Rankings with his T11 finish at The PLAYERS and has until June 11 to improve a further five places and gain automatic entry to the field at Shinnecock Hills.

While he is a former winner of the event, Scott will have little to draw on in terms of memories as the tournament moves to a new venue this year at the Trinity Forest Golf Club in Dallas.

The course has been the focus of much of the pre-tournament discussion, a Bill Coore-Ben Crenshaw design which will look and play considerably different to what the players face most weeks.

A links style layout with wide fairways and large greens, the course should set up well for the 13 Australians taking part.

Robert Allenby and Oliver Goss have both secured sponsor exemptions to the tournament and will join Stuart Appleby, Aaron Baddeley, Matt Jones, John Senden, Cameron Percy, Greg Chalmers, Marc Leishman, Rod Pampling, Geoff Ogilvy and Steven Bowditch in the field.

Another who will find the course to his liking is Geoff Ogilvy who recently filmed several videos outlining some of the bolder features the players will face this week.

A noted architecture buff, Ogilvy will be fully engaged by the challenge and while he missed the cut at THE PLAYERS has shown flashes of good form in recent weeks.

Marc Leishman, too, will likely find Trinity Forest a comfortable office with the course exposed to blustery winds and bear a stronger visual resemblance to his home club of Warrnambool than most he faces on the PGA TOUR.

Leishman was inconsistent last week at TPC Sawgrass with a brilliant Saturday neutralised by a poor Sunday, his overall game, however, appears in good shape.

Of the rest, Greg Chalmers comes into the week with renewed confidence after recently joining forces with two-time Australian Masters winner turned coach Brad Hughes.

Chalmers’ statistics at his last outing at the Wells Fargo two weeks ago showed dramatic improvement and while few will consider him among their favourites he could be dangerous.

For Robert Allenby and Oliver Goss the week presents a significant opportunity, Allenby now with virtually no status on the PGA TOUR and Goss struggling to find a regular place to play.

Good showings this week will be important for both, but for Goss in particular. The West Australian has shown he has the tools to compete at the top level but is yet to find a pathway there.

For John Senden it will be another week of building as he makes his third start back from a 12-month lay-off.

He has yet to play a full weekend in his return – missing the 36-hole cut at the RBC Heritage and the 54-hole cut at the Texas Open – but has played some solid golf under the circumstances and completing 72 holes at Trinity Forest will be the goal.

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