PITTSFORD, N.Y. – For the second straight year, no player shot a lower aggregate score in the four majors than Adam Scott.
He looks at that stat two ways. Either he should have won more than one title in that span, or he's right where he wants to be.
The Masters champ shot an even-par 70 on Sunday to tie for fifth at the PGA Championship, five strokes behind winner Jason Dufner.
"Obviously, the goal was to win one, but the real goal is to put myself in this position a lot more and play," the Aussie said.
Funny how one life-changing victory can transform perceptions of near-misses. When Scott lost a four-shot lead with four holes to play in the 2012 British Open, he was a guy who folded under pressure, who might never win a major. Then came his title at Augusta in April. Now last month's tie for third at the British Open and this week's performance at Oak Hill look like a guy who's always in contention.
"Obviously, I'm peaking at the right times," Scott said.
He came into Sunday four strokes behind 54-hole leader Jim Furyk and three back of Dufner. But his pursuit stalled right at the start with a bogey on the first hole.
But when he made a birdie on No. 12, his fourth of the day, to move to 7 under, Scott still had a chance to put pressure on Dufner. The leader was sitting at 11 under on a run of pars — and had the memory of blowing a big lead at a major before.
The 13th and 14th holes had yielded a lot of birdies all week, and Scott thought, "You never know."
Then he bogeyed No. 13.
"I was in the long stuff too much today to really have a good chance," Scott said. "You can't escape it all the time."
He hit 6 of 14 fairways, not the way to come from behind to win. Still, the next time a major rolls around, Scott will be the defending champion, such a different role from how he came into the 2013 Masters.
"I'm doing something right," Scott said. "I wish it added up to more than one win in eight, but I'm going to try to do all the right things between now and next April and go back and try and defend. I really feel like I've got the right program in place. I just have to keep the motivation high and keep working hard."