ARDMORE, Pa. -- 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 didnt 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 wasnt 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. "Its maybe more apparent to me now that you were all surprised that I wasnt just shattered. But honestly, thats 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. Scotts 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. Except that Scott doesnt see this as the end. He is among the favourites when the U.S. Open begins Thursday at Merion, a course that was soaked by more rain Monday. Scott will be part of the feature group the opening two rounds, playing alongside Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy -- Nos. 1, 2 and 3 in the world ranking. Scott has been part of this routine before. The first time the USGA put together the top three players in the world was at Torrey Pines in 2008 -- Woods and San Diego native Mickelson at 1 and 2, and Scott feeling very much out of place. "I think anyone would have felt like the third wheel that week," Scott said. "Remembering back to Torrey Pines, the hype was enormous around that pairing. There was so much talk about it being Phils hometown and Tiger dominating Torrey for years. It was an experience Ill never forget. Ive never seen that many people on a Thursday morning on the first tee. It was a great atmosphere." And now? "Im probably also the third wheel this week, as well," Scott said with a laugh. Maybe not. Woods still drives the show in golf, already a four-time winner on tour this year as he tries to end his five-year drought in the majors. McIlroy, a major champion each of the last two years, is in one of his slumps and has yet to win this year. Scott, meanwhile, is trying to join some elite company. Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Ben Hogan are the only players in the last 60 years to have won the Masters and U.S. Open in the same season. And while every Masters champion has that opportunity, Scott is good enough to make the quest realistic. "I cant lie to you -- I do feel a lot better coming here, even discussing that kind of thing," Scott said. "Its a good feeling to come here to know that Ive achieved that. Ive got my first major. And my sights are definitely set on trying to win more." The biggest star could be Merion, hosting the U.S. Open for the first time since 1981. And the course at the moment is sharing the stage with Mother Nature. Merion received more than 3 inches of rain on Friday, which left it unplayable Saturday. Even as players were getting started Monday morning, more sheets of rain began to fall. Some of the bunkers were flooded, and the course was closed until 11 a.m. A little more than three hours later, the rain returned. The only activity on the course was workers using squeegees to remove small pools of water from the greens and some fairways. The thick rough was wet, mangled and muddied. Even as players tried a third time to practice, dark clouds loomed and more rain was on the way. Woods returned to hit pitch shots from short of the 18th green. There wasnt much work to get in. Scott had wanted to play seven rounds at Merion leading to the U.S. Open, so he was glad he showed up a week ago. "Ive had three full rounds and thats taken my time trying to figure everything out," Scott said. "I think Ive got a pretty good idea where Im going to try to go. Obviously with it being a little soft, it becomes a little more simple than what it was. The ball is just going to stop where it lands. So if youre accurate, youll be fine." The change in Scott came early in the 2011 season, when he was frustrated with the direction of his game, especially in the majors. Even though he reached as high as No. 3 in the world, he never seriously challenged in the Grand Slam events. He huddled with his swing coach and longtime friend Brad Malone and mapped out a plan. "He has been so influential in so many decisions of mine, and I think its been helpful because he knows me well as a person as well as knowing my golf swing very well," Scott said. "He could see the frustration, so he just essentially eliminated things that frustrated me and made everything a positive. Just set things up so golf was incredibly enjoyable for me and I was getting better all the time." Scott paid more attention to improving than his scores. He was more frustrated by his runner-up finish in the 2011 Masters than his meltdown at Royal Lytham because he controlled the tournament for 68 holes in the British Open. And if Angel Cabrera had chipped in on the first playoff hole to win the Masters? "Theyre tough pills to swallow, but thats golf," Scott said. "Just because you get close once doesnt mean youre going to get given one. And that was something that I was very conscious of the last four holes at Augusta. I stood there on the 15th fairway and said, Youre two back and no one is going to give this to you today. Youre going to have to something. Youre owed nothing in golf. You really just have to go and get it." NBA Jerseys China . Pettersen, winner of last years Evian Championships, had nine birdies and three bogeys, holding off a series of challengers led by Marion Ricordeau of France. The second-ranked Norwegian made her season debut after missing the LPGA Tours opening event last month in the Bahamas because of a shoulder injury. 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Today, we look back at Boston Strong - a citys recovery from tragedy. The Panthers not only disappointed folks in the Carolinas with their Super Bowl performance in February, they also let down Pro Picks. With a chance for a winning record for the 2015 season, we went with Cam Newton and Co. over the Broncos. So we got run over by Von Miller, too.Now here we go again: Panthers vs. Broncos to open the 2016 schedule Thursday night. And call us stubborn, stupid or whatever, were right back on the Panthers (No. 1 in AP Pro32), who are 1-point favorites.Heres why.While Denvers defense still will approach all-world, the offense is in the hands of an untested second-year quarterback, Trevor Siemian. Against Carolinas solid D featuring as good a set of linebackers as the NFL has, the Broncos (No. 6 AP Pro32) arent likely to find the end zone much.Nor will the Panthers, but Cam Newton, last years MVP, believes he has a lot to prove after that mediocre Super Bowl. Prove it he will in the kickoff game.PANTHERS, 21-16---KNOCKOUT LEAGUE TIPPro Picks struggled throughout 2015 with such selections. With a fresh start, the choice is KANSAS CITY.No. 25 Miami (plus 7) at No. 4 SeattleSeahawks looking to avoid slow starts that sometimes plague them. Good chance here.BEST BET: SEAHAWKS 24, DOLPHINS 10No. 17 New York Giants (plus 3 1-2) at No. 22 DallasSomeone explain this Romo-less line to us. Two also-rans from last year, but Giants are improved on D.UPSET SPECIAL: GIANTS, 20-13No. 5 New England (plus 5) at No. 2 ArizonaSo if Jimmy G goes 4-0 as Bradys replacement, does Tom Terrific become a backup?PATRIOTS, 23-20No. 30 San Diego (plus 6 1-2) at No. 8 (tie) Kansas CityA healthy Chiefs team will be a tough out all season. But KC isnt real healthy now. Still ...CHIEFS, 26-16No. 3 Green Bay (minus 4 1-2) at No. 18 JacksonvilleLots of foolks like the Jaguars promise.dddddddddddd Packers delay any fulfillment of it.PACKERS, 27-24No. 7 Pittsburgh (minus 3) at No. 11 Washington, Monday nightCould be a fun shootout in prime time. Steelers have more weapons.STEELERS, 33-28No. 21 Buffalo (plus 2 1-2) at No. 14 BaltimoreRexs banged-up defense still shows some improvement.BILLS, 17-16No. 20 Tampa Bay (plus 3) at No. 19 AtlantaIt wont be Atlantans doing tomahawk chop Sunday, it will be former Seminole Jameis Winston.BUCCANEERS, 27-20No. 29 Chicago (plus 5) at No. 12 HoustonTexans have their QB in Osweiler, but will they have an effective J.J. Watt?TEXANS, 20-13No. 13 Oakland (plus 2) at No. 24 New OrleansBig Easy has become too easy a place for visiting teams to win.RAIDERS, 30-27No. 8 (tie) Cincinnati (minus 1) at No. 15 New York JetsIts not a playoff game, so Cincinnati isnt the Bungles yet.BENGALS, 19-16No. 10 Minnesota (minus 3 1-2) at No. 27 TennesseeHill or Bradford? Tempted to take Titans. But Adrian Peterson swings the pick.VIKINGS, 20-17No. 23 Detroit (plus 5) at No. 16 IndianapolisNot expecting much out of either team this season.LIONS, 22-21No. 26 Los Angeles (minus 2) at No. 31 San Francisco, Monday nightIf Rams are to make any noise in first year back in Hollywood, they need big opening scene.RAMS, 19-16No. 32 Cleveland (plus 4) at No. 28 PhiladelphiaA mismatch in the NBA and MLB, but almost a toss-up in NFL.EAGLES, 14-13---2015 RECORD: Against spread (126-126-7). Straight up:(162-105)Best Bet: 8-10-1 against spread, 11-8 straight up.Upset special: 9-9 against spread, 6-12 straight up.---AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL Authentic Nike Tampa Bay Buccaneers Jerseys Cheap Authentic Nike Tennessee Titans Jerseys Cheap Authentic Nike Washington Redskins Jerseys Cheap Authentic Nike Arizona Cardinals Jerseys Cheap Authentic Nike Denver Broncos Jerseys Cheap Authentic Nike Green Bay Packers Jerseys Cheap Authentic Nike Los Angeles Chargers Jerseys Cheap Authentic Nike New England Patriots Jerseys Cheap Authentic Nike Oakland Raiders Jerseys Cheap Authentic Nike Seattle Seahawks Jerseys Cheap Authentic Nike Carolina Panthers Jerseys Cheap Authentic Nike Cleveland Browns Jerseys Cheap Cheap Throwback Baseball Arizona Diamondbacks Jerseys Cheap Throwback Baseball Atlanta Braves Jerseys Cheap Throwback Baseball Baltimore Orioles Jerseys Cheap Throwback Baseball Boston Red Sox Jerseys Cheap Throwback Baseball Chicago Cubs Jerseys Cheap Throwback Baseball Chicago White Sox Jerseys Cheap Throwback Baseball Cincinnati Reds Jerseys Cheap Throwback Baseball Cleveland Indians Jerseys ' ' '